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Asian Market Lower for the Week - 2002-11-01

Asian markets saw moderate losses over the week, and analysts say investors are staying away because of concerns about global and regional economies.

William Kay, chief analyst with Pacific Group in Hong Kong, said he expects markets in the region to remain volatile.

Seoul is an exception, he noted, even though its Kospi index lost 1.2 percent this week to close at 647. He said Seoul shows greater resilience than other regional markets. "The Korean equity market has held up considerably better than most markets around the world; it's only down around 6 percent in Korean won terms on the year, and roughly flat in U.S. dollar terms, which is quite a good experience to what we've seen elsewhere," said Mr. Kay.

In other markets around the region, Hong Kong's main share index lost almost 3 percent over the week to close Friday at 9,407 points. China Telecom's announcement that it would increase the price of calls from Hong Kong to mainland China by eight-fold helped drag down telecommunications stocks.

Taiwan closed 1.4 percent lower than last week, finishing this Friday at 4,500. Analysts blamed profit taking on the slump.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average made moderate gains on Friday as investors returned to blue chip shares. Toyota Motor gained 4.4 percent. The market ended half a percent lower on the week at 8,685.