HONG KONG, March 18 (AFP): Asian stocks closed mixed and tending higher Friday following strong gains on Wall Street overnight where tame inflation data further eased fears over interest rate hikes.
That coupled with the prospect of flat interest rates in Japan over the near term helped Tokyo to a 1.51 per cent higher close and this lent support to Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong all of which finished stronger.
Jakarta was again the best performer surging 2.46 per cent to another record close amid speculation the government will drop a planned increase in power tariffs.
TOKYO: Share prices closed 1.51 per cent higher as worries about an early rise in interest rates abated and after the Dow Jones hit fresh multi-year highs.
The Nikkei-225 index rallied 243.52 points to 16,339.73. on turnover of 1.53 billion shares.
SEOUL: Share prices closed 0.38 per cent higher, rising for a third day as investors focused on chipmakers and other selected blue chips in the absence of a really positive lead from Wall Street.
The KOSPI index closed up 5.14 points at 1,341.12. Volume was 270 million shares worth 2.7 trillion won (2.78 billion dollars).
HONG KONG: Share prices closed 0.46 per cent higher as investors welcomed stronger-than-expected 2005 results from China Mobile and tame US inflation data.
The Hang Seng Index rose 72.62 points to 15,801.66. Turnover was 30.88 billion Hong Kong dollars (3.96 billion US).
TAIPEI: Share prices closed 0.36 per cent higher, finding some support after a lackluster overnight showing on Wall Street amid continued concerns over tensions with China.
The weighted index rose 23.59 points at 6,528.57 on turnover of 90.81 billion Taiwan dollars (2.80 billion US).
SINGAPORE: Share prices closed 0.18 per cent lower, pulled down by losses in key technology stocks.
The Straits Times Index fell 4.52 points to 2,494.41 on volume of 1.17 billion shares worth 1.1 billion Singapore dollars (683 million US).
KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices closed flat in cautious trade ahead of the weekend amid concerns over two new outbreaks of bird flu in the country.
The composite index slipped 0.53 points at 922.62 and volume was 889.54 million shares worth 915.38 million ringgit (247.10 million dollars).
BANGKOK: Share prices closed 0.20 per cent higher, led by gains in energy stocks, but the broader market was kept in check due to ongoing political uncertainty.
The composite index edged up 1.47 points to 741.43 on turnover of 3.3 billion shares worth 13.9 billion baht (357 million dollars).
JAKARTA: Share prices closed 2.46 per cent higher for another record finish as investors welcomed an announcement by the government that it may drop a planned power tariff hike.
The index closed up 31.381 points at 1,305.178, breaking its previous record high of 1,273.797 points achieved Thursday. Volume was 3.48 billion shares worth 2.87 trillion rupiah (313.5 million dollars).
MANILA: Share prices closed up 0.39 per cent, hitting their highest level in six weeks as investors bought bank stocks amid an improved outlook for the sector.
The composite index added 8.40 points to 2,150.17. Volume reached 630.16 million shares worth 641.05 million pesos (12.55 million dollars).
MUMBAI: Share prices fell 0.17 per cent as funds and retail investors booked profits at higher levels, with selling pressure seen in power, automobile and banking stocks.
The benchmark 30-share Sensex index closed 18.7 points down at 10,860.04.