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Asian stocks rallied Friday, led higher by financials and technology shares, although analysts said more

losses could be on the agenda next week.

Japan's Nikkei 225 ended 1.9% higher, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.5% and South Korea's Kospi
Composite gained 0.8%.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.3% and New Zealand's NZX-50 finished the day 0.5% higher. Singapore
Straits Times index added 0.6% and Shanghai's Composite nudged 0.2% higher, while Taiwan's Taiex
closed 2% higher.
In late afternoon action, India's Sensex was up 2.7%. U.S. stock futures were recently higher in screen
"Next week is likely to bring a further correction in Asian markets because it is increasingly clear that we
have seen excessive optimism regarding prospects of a relatively fast recovery in the global economy, so
there is a need for a correction of that view and an adjustment in [the] market," said SJS Group Chief
Investment Strategist, Dariusz Kowalczyk, in Hong Kong. He said Asia currencies would likely come
under pressure along with stocks as investors shy away from assets perceived risky.
Now that the earnings reporting season is drawing to a close, analysts said trading in Tokyo next week
will likely focus on data such as Japan's gross domestic product, U.S. industrial output and euro-zone
GDP. Late Friday, the euro-zone economy was shown to have suffered its sharpest slump on record in the
first quarter, shrinking 2.5% from the previous quarter and 4.6% from a year earlier.
Despite the upbeat tone to Friday's session, some in the market were still cautious as they scrambled to
determine whether markets have established a base after the strong rally in recent weeks.
Forsyth Barr broker David Price in Wellington said, "People are too used to expecting markets to bounce
back. We are not going back to where we were in the last 10 years. That was fever pitch."
Panasonic added to a series of grim earnings results from Japanese blue chips, reporting after the market
close a fiscal-year net loss of 379 billion yen ($3.95 billion) and forecasting a further loss of 195 billion yen
for the current business year which ends March 31, 2010. Shares of Panasonic ended 4.8% higher
Friday, ahead of the results announcement.
Asian financial stocks were higher, riding the coattails of their U.S. counterparts. In Tokyo, Nomura
Holdings was up 5.3%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group jumped 6.8% and insurer Tokio Marine Holdings
was up 5.3%. In Seoul, Shinhan Financial was up 5.5% and KB Financial gained 4.2%.
In Taiwan, Taishin Financial was up 5.5% after the company Thursday said it would sell its brokerage unit
to KGI Securities, which rose its daily limit of 7% on the news as well.
Technology stocks gained, boosted by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite's overnight rise and by better-
than-expected Japanese core machinery orders for March, which showed a seasonally-adjusted 1.3%
drop from the previous month, compared with expectations for a loss of 5.1%.
Hitachi was 2.9% higher and Nikon up 4.1%; in South Korea, Samsung Electronics was 0.5% higher and
LG Electronics up 1.8%.
Sony was up 7.1%. The company after the market closed Thursday reported a 98.9 billion yen net loss for
the last financial year ended March and forecast a Y120 billion loss for this financial year, due to slumping
sales for televisions, digital cameras and other electronics. The stock reversed Thursday's sharp losses
as its outlook was largely in line with expectations.
In Australia, Rio Tinto surged 7.4% after it reaffirmed its commitment to an investment alliance with
Chinalco, although speculation persisted that it will be forced to raise capital through a share-rights issue.
Patersons associate director Tim Breen said, "The market expects Rio to raise [capital] and I think it's a
matter of 'when', not 'if'." UBS analysts suggested in a report that BHP could assist Rio Tinto by
underwriting a substantial rights issue, in exchange for an iron-ore joint venture in the Pilbara region of
Western Australia.
In other regional action, Hong Kong's China Enterprises Index was up 1.6% Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur
Composite Index gained 0.2%. Philippine shares were up 2%, Indonesian shares fell 1.9% and Thai
shares were up 0.6%.
In foreign-exchange markets, the U.S. dollar fell to 94.88 yen from 95.77 yen.
The New Zealand dollar fell against its U.S. counterpart after data showed first-quarter retail sales
volumes were down 2.9% from the quarter before, compared with a 1.7% decline expected by
economists. The currency fell to US$0.5929 from US$0.5964 before the numbers were released.
"Rising (New Zealand) unemployment and the threat to job security is front of brain and they are not
spending. It will keep in check the idea that things are improving," Westpac Bank economist Doug Steel
said. "We may not be through the worst of this."
Nymex crude oil futures were up 18 cents from New York levels at $58.80 per barrel on the Globex
electronic platform. Spot gold was down 60 cents from the New York close at $925.10 a troy ounce.