Asian markets rose this week amid hopes that central banks around the world will take coordinated stimulus measures to tackle the European financial crisis and regain global economic growth momentum.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 1.3 percent this week and closed at 8469.32. South Korea's Kospi Index advanced 1.2 percent and closed at 1858.16.
Encouraged by global cues, China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1 percent and closed at 2306.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 4 percent and closed at 19233.94.
Ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy review Monday, India's BSE Sensex rose 1.3 percent and closed at 16949.83.
Early in the week, market sentiment turned positive after euro zone finance ministers agreed last weekend to lend 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to Spain to help it overcome its financial crisis. Spain's rising borrowing costs and its troubled banking system had negatively effected investor confidence in the country over the last few weeks.
The positive trend was short-lived, however, as concerns persisted among investors, who were closely watching Spain's economic situation, which poses a serious threat to the region's financial stability. The market's mood quickly reversed to negative as market players feared that Spain's weak economic growth would continue to hamper efforts to bring the budget deficit down.
Market players were also concerned about the debt crisis, which is currently hovering over the euro zone, especially with worries about a contagion effect spreading from Spain to Italy, which is facing rising borrowing costs.
Nervousness among investors ahead of Greece's June 17 elections grew as prospects of a 'Grexit' had by no means dissipated. But Greek political parties are not advocating a scenario in which the country exits the euro zone -- though they might want to renegotiate the terms of their country's bailout.
Market confidence was later boosted as investors felt that central banks could announce monetary easing measures to strengthen the global economy. Investors feel that the intensifying euro zone crisis, coupled with signs that the U.S. economic recovery is faltering, has increased the need for the Fed to announce more monetary stimulus measures.
Investor sentiment was strengthened following growing expectations for more stimulus measures by policy makers, which resulted from a remark about more monetary easing by Charles Evans, president of the Fed's Chicago bank. Adding to the expectation for monetary easing was the sense that inflationary pressures were letting up in the U.S. The U.S. Consumer Price Index fell 0.3 percent in May, which represented the fourth consecutive month of slowing headline inflation.
Major Gainers: Shares of Li & Fung Ltd advanced 5.9 percent. Shares of Komatsu Ltd climbed 2.3 percent and shares of Honda Motor rose 1.7 percent.
Week Ahead: Market trends depend on the outcome of Greek elections over the weekend. Asian markets could turn bearish unless some positive steps are announced by central banks to revive the global economy.