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Asian Regional Markets Post Gains - 2002-04-19


Stock markets in Asia gained ground this week, but technology shares around the region took a beating Friday, erasing some of the gains. Tokyo technology shares slid on Friday but the Nikkei index still finished more than 500 points above last week's close, at 11,512 points.

Investors turned nervous because of a drop in Microsoft shares in the United States, and a sales warning from the world's biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia. In Japan, sellers pushed Sony shares down by two percent, and DoCoMo shed almost one percent.

Tech shares in South Korea were equally vulnerable. Samsung Electronics lost 2.6 percent, even though it reported a record first-quarter net profit.

The benchmark Kospi finished five percent higher than it did a week ago. Taiwan's market gained almost one percent Friday after banks disclosed aggressive plans to write off bad loans. The main Weighted Index ended the week 262 points above its close a week ago.

Rajeev Gupta, a Goldman Sachs stock analyst, says Taiwan's tech shares are among the strongest in the region, although they saw some selling Friday. "We feel very good about most of the companies in Taiwan. They continue to show strong results, particularly from a utilization standpoint and also from a leading-edge technology standpoint," Mr. Gupta said.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng climbed 4.8 percent during the week. Trading was quiet, however, on Friday, and the index added just 35 points.

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