HONG KONG, March 15: Asian markets were mixed on Friday following another strong lead from Wall Street, where traders took heart from more upbeat US jobs numbers.

The yen was flat against the dollar after Japanese lawmakers gave final approval to the government’s nominees to take the helm at the Bank of Japan, with expectations high that it will usher in more aggressive monetary easing.

Tokyo rose 1.45 per cent, or 179.76 points, to 12,560.95 -- its highest level since September 2008, while Sydney bounced back from three days of losses to register its biggest rise since July, adding 1.75 per cent, or 88.0 points, to close at 5,120.2.

Hong Kong was 0.38 per cent lower, losing 86.07 points to end at 22,533.11 while Shanghai closed up 0.36 per cent, or 8.12 points, at 2,278.40.However, Seoul fell 0.78 per cent, or 15.63 points, to 1,986.50.

In Tokyo Friday the dollar fetched 96.07 yen.

Wellington rose 0.14 per cent, or 5.96 points, to 4,387.06.

Contact Energy was up 2.19 per cent, Ryman was up 1.3 per cent at NZ$4.78 while Trade Me added 0.9 per cent to NZ$4.74 and Kathmandu climbed 0.4 per cent to NZ$2.45.

Kuala Lumpur lost 0.80 per cent, or 13.10 points, to 1,627.64.

British American Tobacco shed 1.8 per cent to 58.78 ringgit, Genting Plantations plunged 4.5 per cent to 8.53 ringgit, while Nestle Malaysia was up 0.8 per cent to 60.96 ringgit.

Bangkok added 0.71 per cent, to 11.34 points, to 1,598.13.

Siam Cement rose 2.46 per cent to 500.00 baht, while power giant Electricity Generating lost 3.08 per cent to 157.50 baht. Jakarta gained 0.69 per cent, or 32.96 points, to 4,819.32.

Mobile phone operator Indosat rose 2.42 per cent to 6,350 rupiah, Semen Indonesia gained 2.82 per cent to 18,250 rupiah, while food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur fell 2.03 per cent to 7,250 rupiah.

Singapore rose 0.20 per cent, or 6.55 points, to 3,286.05.

Property stocks tumbled after official data showed that private home sales plunged 65 per cent last month, with Capitaland plunging 4.23 per cent to Sg$3.40 and City Developments falling 3.67 per cent to Sg$10.76.

Mumbai fell 0.73 per cent, or 142.88 points, to 19,427.56.

Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro was down 1.09 per cent at 1,506.50 rupees and automaker Mahindra & Mahindra was up 1.48 per cent at 927.70 rupees.—AFP

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