Asian stocks end mixed
Asian stock markets gave mixed performances Thursday amid uncertainty over a rescue for the US auto sector and prospective interest rate cuts to drag countries out of an economic slump, dealers said.
Tokyo rose to a one-month high despite caution over the bailout for the US car industry that was approved by the House of Representatives and now faces a vote by a sceptical Senate.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei-225 index gained 0.70 percent, rising for the fourth day in a row, while Hong Kong closed 0.2 percent higher, but Sydney was 1.2 percent down.
"Investors are still uncertain about the global market outlook" and the auto sector bailout, Tokai Tokyo Securities strategist Hiroaki Kuramochi told Dow Jones Newswires.
Analysts in Hong Kong said stocks were also supported by hopes that Beijing will announce more stimulus measures for China's flagging economy, after a top-level economic meeting this week.
"Sentiment has improved after China repeated it would support the economy and the market," Kingston Lin, an associate director with Prudential Brokerage, said.
"The recent rally was also helped by latest gains on Wall Street."
Hong Kong property companies rose on hopes the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next week. The city's monetary policy is bolted to that of the United States because of the Hong Kong dollar's peg to the US dollar.
South Korea's central bank on Thursday slashed its key interest rate by an unprecedented 100 basis points to a record low of three percent, the fourth cut in just over two months. Economists had expected a 50 basis point cut.
Taiwan's central bank also announced it was slashing interest rates by 75 basis points from 2.75 percent to 2.00 percent, the biggest cut in 26 years and the fifth in two months.
TOKYO: Japanese shares rose 0.70 percent.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index gained 60.31 points to 8,720.55, its highest since November 11.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan's third largest bank, jumped 9.6 percent to 342,000 yen.
Mizuho Financial climbed 4.1 percent to 235,000 yen. Japan's largest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rose 6.8 percent to 500 yen after an analyst upgraded it.