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Asian Stocks Close Mixed Friday

Asian stocks were mixed Friday, following losses on Wall Street.

Asian markets put in a mixed performance on Friday, with losses in Tokyo and Sydney, and gains in Seoul and Taipei.

Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 0.8 of a percent, shedding 77 points to end trading at 9,547. The drop follows a slump in Wall Street's Dow Industrials due to weaker than hoped unemployment figures.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was mostly unchanged by midday, coming off a week of profit taking. Herbert Lau of Celestial Research in Hong Kong says local money is being drawn to China shares.

"Fundamental-wise, I think the Hong Kong economy is still weak, the property market is still weak, so that's why we have seen more interest in China-related stocks," he said.

Mr. Lau adds that the long-term rise in Hong Kong stocks helps explain this week's short-term drop.

"The market has rebounded almost 20 percent from the low of SARS back in late April, so right now there has been some profit-taking on the market," said Herbert Lau.

Regional winners on Friday included Taipei, where the benchmark weighted index jumped more than one percent, closing at 5,151 amid reportedly heavy foreign buying.

Seoul also saw a good day, with the KOSPI index gaining 6.5 points, or almost one percent, to end trading at 693.

Sydney's SPASX, meanwhile, lost 16.5 points to close at 3,028.