Stock markets across Asia made slight gains following a rebound on Wall
Street. Investors were cheered as the U.S. continued to take measures
to boost its failing economy.
Asian markets rebounded slightly after a tumultuous week during which investors reacted to fourth-quarter results released by companies in the United States.
Ricky Tam, Asian market investment director for Champlus Asset Management, says regional markets this week responded to declines in the U.S.
"That struck down the whole Asian market. And, one more thing, as the oil price, the gold prices came down, that pushed down the other Asian commodities within the countries, particularly the Australian market," said Tam.
Tam says that next week, as more U.S. companies, including some banks, release fourth-quarter results, the market will be even more volatile.
"If their result is OK, I think the whole Asian market will rebound more than 1,000 points," he said. "But if the result is not good, then I think the market might decline quite seriously."
Investors continue to closely monitor the U.S., some fearing its economy might sink deeper into recession. But they were relieved to see that U.S. Treasury agreed to bail out Bank of America with $20 billion in capital from the federal government's emergency rescue fund.
Prices on most Asian stock markets fell sharply throughout the week, but Friday, they rallied modestly.
In Japan, the Nikkei average rose 2.6 percent, on the heels of gains by automakers and other exporters. Toyota picked up 6 percent, while Honda jumped 8 percent.
The Hang Seng Index gained slightly and in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose almost 2 percent.
Benchmark indexes in South Korea, Singapore, Australia and Taiwan also rose.
Oil prices dropped slightly Friday to just above $35 a barrel.