Asian markets ended mostly lower Thursday as worries about the sickly U.S. economy were exacerbated by a falling dollar, which could prop up U.S. firms at the expense of Asia's exporters.
South Korea posted its biggest monthly current account deficit in almost 11 years in January as the goods trade account swung to a deficit while the services account deficit rose, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Asian markets closed higher across the board Wednesday, marking a third straight session of gains. Hong Kong was the best performer, closing over 3 percent higher, and Japan ended over 1 percent up.
Asian stocks pulled back from an early rally to close broadly higher Tuesday. Japan ended weaker and South Korea closed flat. But Australia managed to hang on to its advance to finish in positive territory.
Asian markets rallied in the afternoon session Monday with financials stocks advancing on talks of a possible rescue plan for U.S. bond insurer Ambac. Japan surged 3 percent, but Shanghai shares slumped over 4 percent.
Asian markets closed lower Friday, with investors spooked by fresh evidence that the U.S. economy is in recession. Japan and South Korea both closed 1 percent lower.
Most Asian markets made firm gains Thursday, as solid earnings and expectations of further U.S. interest rate cuts outweighed worries about inflation, even as oil hit a record high above $101 a barrel.
South Korean investigators looking into allegations the president-elect was involved in securities fraud said on Thursday they found no wrongdoing, defusing a scandal that analysts said could have undermined his authority.
Asian markets closed sharply lower Wednesday with Japan losing over 3 percent lower and both Australia and South Korea ending around 2 percent down.
Asian stocks ended mostly in the green Tuesday as investors, sought undervalued bank shares and exporters that could gain from a modestly stronger U.S. dollar. Japan, South Korea and Australia all closed stronger.
Asian stocks closed mixed Monday, as investors shrugged off a rash of weak economic indicators to keep most markets afloat. Japan and South Korea closed just a touch higher, which the Hong Kong market fell.
Asian stocks ended the week with a mixed session Friday, but off their earlier lows. Japan closed almost flat despite making sharp losses in the morning. South Korea finished just slightly lower.
Asian markets surged in the afternoon session, buoyed by a surprise increase in U.S. retail sales and unexpectedly strong growth figures for the Japanese economy. Both Tokyo and Seoul closed over 4 percent higher.
Asian markets received an early boost after billionaire investor Warren Buffett made an offer to take on $800 billion of U.S. municipal bond risk. But many of the Asian indexes gave back earlier gains to close mixed. Indian and Hong Kong stocks closed firmly higher, while China and Australia fell.
Asian markets were slightly higher on Tuesday driven by a rebound in the U.S., but financials remained fragile after American International Group raised fears it would become the latest casualty of the credit crisis.
Oil and precious metals rose on supply concerns on Monday in thin holiday trade in Asia, while the few stock markets that were open, such as South Korea and Australia, unravelled on fear the credit crunch would spread further.
The Japanese market fell 1.4 percent in a quiet Friday session. But Australia finished 1.1 percent higher. Volumes were thin with many investors away for the lunar new year.
Japan ended higher Thursday, rebounding from early losses, but Australia closed lower, hitting a five-day low as investors remained sidelined after recent signs that the U.S. economy is headed into recession.
Asian markets tanked in the afternoon session Wednesday, sending investors on a selling spree after unexpectedly weak service sector data in the United States and Europe fueled fears of a recession. Japan plunged over 4 percent and Hong Kong closed more than 5 percent lower.
Asian markets continued their weak run Tuesday with financial stocks sinking after U.S. credit card firms and banks were downgraded, stoking fears their troubles could spread to the global sector.