Asian markets closed firmly higher Friday, despite a weak start to trading, with Chinese stocks jumping nearly 5 percent. Gains were all the more impressive given Wall Street's fall.
U.S. stocks declined for a second straight day on Thursday as soft results from technology Oracle fed worry about a cutback in business spending, while rumors that Lehman Brothers could suffer a fate similar to the near collapse of Bear Stearns plagued the financial sector.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Average closed up 1.7 percent on a wave of buying by investors seeking to raise their portfolio value ahead of the fiscal year-end, led higher by property firms such as Mitsubishi Estate. Friday's rise snapped a two-day losing streak and helped the Nikkei gain roughly 2.7 percent on the week, its biggest weekly gain since mid-February.
Seoul stocks ended 1.5 percent higher, with technology and automakers up on expectations of solid first-quarter earnings as a weak currency makes exports more competitive, but financial shares fell. LG Electronics and LG Display were both higher. Automakers such as Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors also gained on expectations of robust first-quarter results.