Most Asian markets are up slightly at the week's end, with Japan's Nikkei average closing a sixth of a percentage point higher.

The Tokyo index finished trading at 8,424, for a gain of 49 points.

The small rise came as buyers picked up technology stocks and the yen stabilized against a weaker dollar.

Tech-share purchases also helped boost Taiwan's market slightly, with the benchmark index up by about 13 points to close at 4,556.

Investec Asset Management's Stewart Aldcroft says that while the small uptick shows movement away from the shadow of SARS, the region's markets still have a lot of room for improvement. "Today, we haven't actually seen a lot of market movement, but this week has started to see what we hope will be the process of a recovery in the Asian region after the SARS crisis over the last two or three months, and I think that a lot of the performance of the week has really come back from a recovery stage. Yes, the market has gone up, but there is still a lot further that the market could be going," he said.

In South Korea, Seoul's composite index edged up one point to 633.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng, however, closed slightly lower, down 21 points to 9,487, while Sydney's SPASX 200 index shed five points, ending the day at 3,011.