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Asian Stocks Strong on 5th Anniversary of Regional Financial Crisis - 2002-07-05

In a week that was the fifth anniversary of the Asian financial crisis, markets in Asia are showing signs of recovery despite weakness in the U.S. markets. Technology and financial shares rose across Asia for most of the week.

Marking the anniversary of the 1997 fall of the baht and the Asian financial meltdown, Thailand gained more than three percent from last Friday's close, ending the week at 402.

Hong Kong, which languished during the first half of 2002, saw big gains this week in commercial and industrial shares as well as utilities. The Hang Seng index ended Friday at 10,806, up two percent from last week's finish.

Howard Gorges is vice chairman of China Brokerage in Hong Kong. "It's more than a technical rebound. There is a bit more confidence developing over our economy, which is looking steady but not exciting, said Howard Gorges, vice chairman of China Brokerage in Hong Kong. "We're seen as relatively immune or different from the problems besetting Wall Street."

Analysts in Tokyo said the Nikkei share index was up because concerns of a terrorist attack on the U.S. during its Independence Day holiday proved unfounded.

The Nikkei closed Friday at 10,826, up almost two percent from a week ago. Both Korea and Taiwan saw gains in technology and electronics shares.

Seoul's Kospi index was up 3.5 percent Friday from a week ago, ending at 768. Analysts said stable computer chip prices were behind a rally in electronics and semiconductor shares.

In Taiwan the main share index rose two percent from last Friday, finishing at 5,255. The technology sub-index, which covers roughly 60 percent of the market, ended four percent higher.