Asian equity markets Friday experienced heavy losses after Wall Street's tumble and concerns over European sovereign debt. Japan's Nikkei index fell 2.9%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 3.3%, its first finish below 20000 since September. South Korea's Kospi lost 3% to 1567.12, Taiwan's Taiex sank 4.3% and China's Shanghai Composite gave up 1.9%.
Asian stocks mostly Friday moved higher at opening after the strong economic figures from the US boosted investor confidence. Today the focus will be on a series of economic data of China. The nation's key official figures on industrial production, CPI, and retail sales are due out later in the day.
Asian share markets were bolstered on hopes for China's further stimulus measures, which are speculated to include market-supportive moves. Shanghai Composite Index surged 6.1% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2.5%. South Korea's Kospi was up 3.3%. Japanese and Singaporean markets also shrugged off the bad lead from Wall Street, gaining 0.9% and 1% respectively.
Yesterday the Asian major bourses posted losses, driven by negative sentiment caused in large part by doubts over the financial rescue package in the US and profit-taking. The US President Barack Obama was sending Congress a budget that projects the government's deficit for this year will soar to US$1.75 trillion, reflecting efforts to pull the nation out of a deep recession and a severe financial crisis.
Asian shares fell broadly yesterday following the sharp losses in Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei index extended its falling streak for the third trading session to a 26-year low. In Seoul, Kospi slumped 3.2%. China market, which is said as one of the world's best performers, saw a most massive drop of 4.6% in Shanghai Composite Index. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 2.9% with China-related stocks tracking movements in Shanghai.
Asia's major markets including Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong closed higher on Wednesday after the US stocks rose on the positive economy data and progress on government's stimulus plan. Tokyo stocks opened lower Thursday as investor sentiment was dampened by bleak U.S. corporate earnings.
Asian markets are expected to drop after the plummet on Wall St. On Friday Japan's Nikkei stock average lost 3.1 per cent, sliding on economic woes and a tumble by Toshiba Corp after it was hit by news it may merge part of its chip operations, a loss forecast, and a ratings cut. The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 123.78 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 13,278.21. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges open today after the week-long Chinese New Year holidays.