Asian stocks shrugged off a weak performance by Wall Street and closed mostly higher on Friday with investors focusing on domestic issues as opposed to the state of the US economy.
Taipei was among the best performers on the day with a 1.18 percent gain after local companies reported improved sales figures, while Hong Kong, Sydney, Mumbai and Jakarta closed at record highs.
Investors were also left without an important regional lead, with Tokyo closed for a public holiday. Improved corporate earnings, local interest rates and oil prices stabilising at lower levels provided some leads.
Dealers also noted there was an inflow of capital from outside the region.
Only Singapore bucked the trend with a 0.32 percent fall, however, the correction was described as healthy given that its benchmark had also been trading at record levels.
Share prices closed 1.18 percent higher, with Wall Street's overnight declines offset by solid sales figures for last month reported by some local firms and on expectations of foreign capital inflows amid a strengthening Taiwan dollar.
Dealers said asset-backed stocks received a boost from a media report that a Hong Kong investor had bought four sites in northern Taiwan for around NT$400 million (US$12.12 million).
The weighted index closed up 83.51 points at 7,161.61 on turnover of NT$112.68 billion.
"We witnessed rotational interest today, with stocks responding positively to individual leads," said Stanley Hsu, a manager with First Taisec Securities (
"Dynamic random access memory chipmakers and some electronics components suppliers received a warm response [from investors] following their strong October sales," he said.
Construction and companies with real estate exposure got a boost on hopes for property developments, following the media report about the Hong Kong investor's interest in Taiwanese property.
In addition, the financial sector was bolstered by renewed reports of the prospects for mergers.
Hsu said that corporate sales data for last month and political developments were likely to be variables affecting the stockmarket here next week.
Share prices closed flat, with many investors sidelined after weakness on Wall Street overnight and ahead of key US employment data due later in the day.
Dealers said there was some support but the upside was capped as foreign investors continued to reduce their positions in major IT stocks, with all eyes now on the US economy after a series of weaker-than-expected data.
The concern is that if the US economy falters, Asian exporters could be badly hit with no other region able to take up the slack from their largest market.
The KOSPI index inched up 0.15 points at 1,383.88.
Share prices closed 0.19 percent higher as gains in index heavyweight China Mobile and property stocks took the market into fresh record territory after a see-saw day.
China Mobile extended gains on liquidity-driven buying while property stocks played catch-up after lagging the market's recent record-breaking rally.
The Hang Seng Index was up 34.91 points at 18,749.69.
"The index was initially hesitant in making further headway at the current high levels but the retreat was soon overcome by renewed buying," said Marco Mak, research head at Tai Fook Securities.
Share prices closed 0.81 percent higher on sustained fund inflows, with the banks and property developers back in favor after profit-taking.
Dealers said that, following a very modest pause on Thursday, the market was on the move again, powered by continued fund inflows and further gains in the yuan, with investors confident that stocks still have further to go.
The Shanghai A-share Index added 15.81 points to 1,960.84 and the Shenzhen A-share Index was up 2.38 points or 0.51 percent at 467.60.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B-shares, rose 15.05 points or 0.81 percent at 1,866.36.
Share prices closed up 0.42 percent at a record high after the country's largest bank reported its best ever full-year earnings, boosting market sentiment.
Dealers said National Australia Bank's results helped offset concerns about the outlook for the US economy following a series of weaker-than-expected data.
The SP/ASX 200 rose 22.6 points to 5,432.0.
Share prices closed 0.32 percent lower as the market consolidated following recent strong gains.
Dealers said investors are waiting for more positive cues from quarterly corporate profit results which are due to be released in the next two weeks.
The Straits Times Index (STI) fell 8.67 points to 2,722.31.
Dealers said the consolidation provides a healthy breather for the market, as the STI been rallying to fresh record levels in recent weeks. The market momentum remains intact, but will need a very strong catalyst to push share prices higher at current levels, they said.
Share prices closed 0.28 percent higher with the key index firmer on continued interest in selected blue chips in the banking and plantations sectors.
Dealers said profit-taking activity kept the market in check after the main index hit the 1,000 level during the day.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index closed up 2.77 points at 998.02, after touching an intraday high of 1,000.06.
Share prices closed at a six-month high as investors saw Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont's first speech to parliament as a fresh sign of political normalcy following a September coup. The composite index rose 3.27 points to 732.30.
Dealers said investors chased gains in the property and banking sectors amid hopes for stable interest rates here on the back of falling global oil prices.
Share prices closed 0.54 percent higher, led by a strong show of support for top stock Telecom.
The NZX-50 index was up 20.4 points at 3,778.41.
Share prices closed at a third straight record high, recovering from early sluggishness as funds sought benchmark index companies in the oil and media sectors.
Dealers said buying momentum was strong on positive Asian market trends and the closure of a strong earnings season for the quarter ended September.
The 30-share SENSEX index rose 39.67 points or 0.30 percent to 13,130.79.
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