Asian stocks were mixed in lackluster trade Thursday. Markets drifted in a narrow range in and out of positive territory. But Japan, South Korea and Australia managed to make some gains.
Global index compiler FTSE dashed hopes on Thursday that South Korea and Taiwan would be upgraded to advanced market status, saying more work was needed in areas such as off-exchange transactions.
Asian markets rallied Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed two key interest rates -- the benchmark fed fund rate and the discount rate -- by 50 basis points each. Japan soared 3.7% and South Korea closed 3.5% higher.
Asian markets were mostly lower Tuesday as financial shares lost ground amid spreading turmoil in financial markets. Japan shed 2% while South Korea closed 1.77% lower.
Asian stocks finished mostly lower Monday, taking a breather after four straight weeks of gains. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 2% higher and South Korea ended a touch stronger after spending most of the day in negative territory. Australia finished weaker. A public holiday in Japan kept the yen subdued. Markets there were closed for a holiday and will reopen Tuesday.
Asian markets finished the week higher across the board, boosted by financial shares with Japan closing almost 2% higher. However caution ahead of U.S. retail sales data due later in the session kept the U.S. dollar under pressure.
Most of the Asian indexes closed in positive territory Thursday following a very choppy trading session, with South Korea closing almost 2% higher. Energy shares rallied as oil held near a record peak above $80 set overnight.
South Korea will loosen regulations on foreign asset management firms and domestic private equity funds as early as this year, the finance ministry said on Thursday.
Asian markets finished mixed Wednesday with Tokyo stocks closing lower on news that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had resigned.
Asian markets found their footing and reversed losses to close mostly higher Tuesday, but China suffered heavy losses. Energy stocks rose after a surge in oil prices. Japan and South Korea closed stronger after spending most of the morning in negative territory.
Asian markets pared morning losses, but still closed broadly lower in the afternoon session Monday, with exporters hit hard on concerns the U.S. economy may be heading into a recession. Japan and South Korea both closed over 2% lower.
It was a mixed end to the Asian trading week. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed lower as investors took profit from the previous session's gains. But traders mainly took a wait-and-see approach ahead of a key U.S. jobs report due Friday.
Shares in SK Energy rose up to 4.7 percent on Friday after the oil refiner said it may not list a unit, opting instead for an internal merger that would give it full control of the valuable affiliate.
South Korea's central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 5.0 percent on Friday, as widely expected, pausing after two consecutive quarter-percentage point increases aimed at cooling rapid credit and money growth.
Asian stocks closed in broadly positive territory Thursday, with the exception of Hong Kong and Australia, despite U.S. housing data renewing fears over the strength of Asia's top export market.
Asian markets closed mixed following a cautious day ahead of major U.S. data due this week and an interest rate meeting by the European central bank. Japanese stocks boar the brunt of declines, while Hong Kong investors enjoyed resilience in the Hang Seng.
Asian stocks closed mixed in subdued trading on the lack of a lead from U.S. markets which were closed on Monday for a public holiday.
Asian markets were mixed Monday, as investors stayed cautious in spite of reassuring statements by U.S. President George W. Bush and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on sheltering the economy from the turmoil in the markets.
Asian markets made solid gains Friday, ending the week firmly in positive territory as investors bet on a positive reaction to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on monetary policy and housing in Jackson Hole, Wyo. at 11 am Singapore time.
Asian markets mostly finished higher Thursday, but were off their morning highs. Volumes were thin amid a dearth of strong incentives, with many market participants holding back ahead of a long weekend in the United States. Japan and South Korea both closed almost 1% higher.