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Short Trading Week Ends in Rally for Most Asian Markets

A short trading week ended in a rally for most Asian markets, as the New Year began. Asian exporters made some of the biggest gains.

Wall Street's gain of more than 260 points on the first trading day of the year boosted Asian markets on Friday.

A recent survey by the U.S. Institute for Supply Management added to the positive investor sentiment. The institute's factory index showed manufacturing in the United States is on the rise.

This, say analysts, has a knock-on effect for Asian manufacturers, as U.S. companies look to outsource some of their increased demand to Asia.

"We only had a few days trading, and it's really a consequence of beaten down equities in the last two weeks of the last year;" explained Ajay Kapur, a regional strategist with Citigroup, "and then there was last night's [Thursday] release of ISM orders index, which went up quite substantially."

Seoul's Kospi index ended the week with a small gain of five points to close at 661. However, market heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained more than seven percent on Friday. L.G. Electronics, which sells 60 percent of its products overseas, added close to 10 percent on Friday.