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Asian stocks mostly higher on last day of the year

Asian stocks mostly higher on last day of the year

Asian stocks were mostly higher Friday in thin trading as few investors were willing to place bets on the last day of the year, when many markets were either closed or had shortened trading hours.
China's Shanghai Composite Index was up 48.50 points, or 1.8 percent, to finish the year at 2,808.08. It was one of the few major markets that had a full trading day.
Despite the strong bounce, Chinese stocks are ending the year about 14 percent lower than when they began 2010, as investors have been fretting in recent months that the government will take aggressive measures to cool the overheating economy and keep a lid on surging inflation.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 36.11 points, or 0.2 percent, in a shortened trading session to end the year at 23,035.45. The benchmark index gained about 7 percent this year.
Japan's stock market was closed Friday. On Thursday, the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average fell 115.62 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 10,228.92. It ended the year down around 3 percent, mainly on account of concerns over a stronger yen, which hurts the country's high-value exporters.
Stocks in Australia and New Zealand ended lower in a shortened trading day.
Singapore's benchmark was lower, while those in Taiwan and India were higher.
Markets were closed in South Korea and Thailand.
In currencies, the dollar fell 0.2 percent to 81.37 yen. The dollar has gradually weakened versus the yen since the start of year, when it bought about 93 yen. The euro was 0.4 percent higher at $1.3352. It has traded as high as $1.45 and as low as $1.19 in 2010.
Benchmark crude for February delivery fell 14 cents to $89.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Updated : 2021-04-19 15:21 GMT+08:00