Asian stock market summary

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - JAPAN The blue-chip Nikkei 225 Stock Average closed down 0.9 pct at 16,096.68 -- its lowest level in seven weeks -- as the stronger yen took its toll on exporters, while persistent concerns about the subprime mortgage crisis weighed on financial shares.

The broader TOPIX index dropped 1.1 pct to 1,556.69.

SOUTH KOREA The KOSPI index closed down 0.5 pct at 2,043.19 as investors, fearing that oil prices will top 100 usd this week, locked in gains after the index came within striking distance of its previous record.

AUSTRALIA The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.97 pct to 6,692.4 after the central bank's decision to raise interest rates signalled the domestic economy is experiencing strong growth which could translate into higher corporate earnings.

The All Ordinaries was 1 pct higher.

CHINA The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed up 1.18 pct at 5,601.78.

A-shares closed mostly higher in choppy trade with large-caps attracting bargain-hunting interest after declines earlier in the week. The Shanghai A-share Index rose 1.19 pct to 5,879.77. B-shares closed mixed, with property developers higher following a strengthening in the yuan. The Shanghai B-share Index rose 0.06 pct to 369.

TAIWAN The weighted index closed up 0.08 pct at 9,300.22, as profit-taking eroded early gains driven by an overnight rally on Wall Street.

Investors opted to wait for more convincing leads to push stocks higher despite expectations of government support in the run-up to next year's parliamentary and presidential elections.

PHILIPPINES Manila's composite index closed 0.4 pct higher at 3,788.26 after choppy trading Wednesday led by gains in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) after international credit rating agencies affirmed the company's foreign currency ratings, with a stable outlook.

Mining stocks also rallied as gold prices soared to fresh 27-year peaks, offsetting worry about surging oil prices to some extent. pvi/jro COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.

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