Asian stocks ended mixed Friday as investors were uncertain about whether the worst was indeed over for credit markets. Japan shed 1.5 percent but Australia managed to hang on to gains closing 1.4 percent higher.
Standard & Poor's on Thursday said write-downs for large financial institutions were probably past the halfway mark and that banks had already disclosed the majority of their writedowns. However, it raised its previous estimate of write-downs by $20 billion to $285 billion. U.S. stocks rebounded following the Standard & Poor's report.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Average dropped 1.5 percent to close at a more than two-and-a-half-year low as the dollar fell back below 100 yen, dragging exporters such as Toyota Motor with it. Sumitomo Realty & Development and other property firms extended losses after a research firm said that sales of new apartments in Tokyo fell to a 15-year low for February.