Tokyo shares managed to shrug off concerns about the state of the nation's economy Friday, with the Nikkei Average closing at a three week high. It rose 1.5 percent to 10,649.
Electronics company Sony helped lift the overall market. It scored a gain of nearly 6 percent after announcing that it will become the first Japanese company to manufacture and sell personal computers in China.
But worries about Japan's economy loom. The government downgraded its assessment of the country's economic health on Wednesday. It was the seventh downgrade this year.
Japan's parliament enacted a $25 billion extra budget Friday, which is aimed at creating jobs and encouraging structural reform plans. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi praised passage of the bill, but says that difficult problems continue to emerge.
In Taiwan, stocks gained one percent Friday despite fears about the island's economy, with the benchmark Weighted Index gaining more than seven percent in the past three sessions. After the market closed Friday, the government said gross domestic product fell 4.2 percent in the third quarter from one year ago, its second consecutive quarter of deterioration. That means that Taiwan is now officially in recession. However, many analysts expect it will stabilize in the current quarter.
In Singapore, news that the economy shrank by 5.6 percent in the third quarter hurt the market. A severe drop in exports has pushed the island state into its worst recession in 37 years. The Straits Times Index fell 10 points to 1,422.