Asian markets have risen, rebounding from the previous day's losses, as stimulus moves by the central banks of the United States, Europe and Japan outweighed another round of weak economic data.
Shares looked set for a positive end to a week that saw the Bank of Japan follow the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB) in unveiling plans to boost growth, but also showed manufacturing in China was still shrinking.
Tokyo on Friday rose 0.25 per cent, or 23.02 points, to 9,110.00, Seoul advanced 0.60 per cent, or 12.04 points, to 2,002.37, and Sydney also added 0.25 per cent, or 11.1 points, to 4,408.3.
Hong Kong was 0.70 per cent higher, adding 144.02 points to end at 20,734.94 and Shanghai added 0.09 per cent, or 1.85 points, to 2,206.69.
Buying sentiment has been lifted since the ECB said it would buy unlimited amounts of debt from under-pressure eurozone nations to keep their borrowing costs down, followed a week later by the Fed move to buy huge amounts of US bonds.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) said on Wednesday it would extend its own asset-purchasing scheme.
"We are in the aftermath of some pretty big announcements, with moves by the European Central Bank and the (Fed), and investors are still digesting that, while economic data is still on the soft side," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital in Sydney.
While the banks' moves provided hope to the markets, reality hit home with a string of weak data, including a HSBC survey that found China's manufacturing activity contracted for the 11th straight month in September.
Wall Street provided an anaemic lead following a batch of numbers including disappointing jobless claims figures.
The Dow rose 0.14 per cent, the S&P 500 was flat and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.21 per cent.
The euro bought $US1.2962 and Y101.32 in afternoon Asian trade, compared with $US1.2972 and Y101.46 in New York late on Thursday.
It had surged as high as $US1.3170 at the start of the week after the Fed easing plan and Y103.50 on Wednesday.
The dollar was at Y78.16 against Y78.24.
In Tokyo, Japan Airlines, which relisted just days ago after bouncing back from bankruptcy, tumbled 4.29 per cent on news it will slash flights to China because of a bitter diplomatic row between the two countries.
On oil markets, crude rose, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, gaining 73 US cents to $US93.15 and Brent North Sea crude for November delivery adding 66 US cents to $US110.69.
Gold was at $US1,772.30 at 1830 AEST, compared with $US1,759.60 on Thursday.
In other markets:
- Taipei rose 0.35 per cent, or 27.04 points, to 7,754.59.
AU Optronics gained 5.05 per cent to $Tw11.45 while Hon Hai Precision was 0.83 per cent higher at $Tw96.8.
- Manila ended flat, dipping 2.91 points to 5,292.06.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust fell 1.09 per cent to 91 pesos while Philippine Long Distance Telephone dropped 0.64 per cent to 2,810 pesos.
- Wellington eased 0.25 per cent, or 9.71 points, to 3,809.57.
Telecom added 0.2 per cent to $NZ2.33.
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