Asian Stocks End Mixed, Hong Kong Rallies

It was a mixed session for Asian stocks on Friday with some markets gaining ground as investors picked up beaten-down shares after a six-session losing streak. But trading was dulled by holidays in Japan and the United States.


The Hang Seng Index was the main winner, gaining nearly 2 percent after two straight days of sharp losses. Heavyweights like China Mobile were among the top picks, but Sinotrans Shipping fell 5 percent in its debut.

South Korea's benchmark KOSPI fell to a three-month closing low at 1,772, down 1.45 percent, as traders sold brokerage and chemical stocks.

Telecom plays bounced higher led by mobile carrier SK Telecom, whichrose as much as 5.1 percent, ahead of the expected adoption of a bill to allow the introduction of Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). The stock closed 0.8 percent higher at 243,000 won.

The Taiwan Weighted Index ended lower by 1 percent at 8,342 despite data showing Taiwan's economy in the third-quarter, scored the fastest growth in three years, prompting the government to raise its GDP growth forecast for 2007.

Australia's key S&P/ASX 200 index was barely changed, wallowing at nine-week lows at the finish line. The index closed 4 points lower at 6,330 with banks stocks falling further on credit worries. Investors in Australia were also closely watching the weekend Federal Election.

But the major miners stayed under pressure after copper plumbed to an eight-month low on Thursday. Mining giant BHP Billiton slipped 0.4 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times Index ended in positive territory, up 0.4 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index finished 1 percent in the green.

All eyes are on Black Friday, the start of the major U.S. holiday shopping season after Thursday's Thanksgiving break, to gauge the health of consumers in Asia's top export destination.

Wires contributed to this article.