Most Asian markets rose this week as investor sentiment turned positive with the announcement of measures at the EU summit in Brussels aimed at alleviating the current debt crisis gripping the euro zone.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.4 percent and closed at 9006.78. As the Japanese yen weakened against dollar, exporters gained and this lifted the market.
India's BSE Sensex advanced 2.7 percent for the week and closed at 17429.98. The rupee touched a record low of 57.32 against the dollar. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took over the finance portfolio after Pranab Mukherjee resigned from the post Tuesday. In an attempt to stop the depreciation of the rupee, the Reserve Bank of India raised the limit of external commercial borrowing (ECB) to $ 10 billion.
The draft guidelines for the implementation of the General Anti-Tax Avoidance Rules (GAAR) announced by the Finance Ministry Friday also encouraged the market players. The announcement made it clear that the rule would not apply retrospectively, easing the fears of investors.
South Korea's Kospi Index was up 0.4 percent and closed at 1854.01. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 2.4 percent and closed at 19441.46. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.5 percent and closed at 2225.43.
Market sentiment was negative in the initial part of the week since investors were concerned about the looming debt crisis in the euro zone. The rising borrowing cost of Spain gave worries to the market players as the country's 10-year government bond yields soared to 6.55 percent. The upward pressure on bond yields reflected uncertainty surrounding the banking bailout offered to Spain. Investors saw this as an indication that Spain would require a full blown sovereign bailout to overcome the economic instability.
There were concerns about the contagion spreading to Italy, which is faced with mounting debt pressures. Italy's 10-year government bond yields rose to 5.8 percent. Investors were of the opinion that bond purchases were nothing more than a temporary solution. There was the worry that Italy would need a more formal bailout to cover its financing needs for a few years.
Moody's Investors Service Monday downgraded 28 Spanish banks as the country continued to reel under debt pressure. With Spain's banking problems increasing, investors felt that it would be difficult for the country to come out of recession.
The downward trend in markets began to change Wednesday with the hope that the EU summit would come up with concrete measures to tackle the euro zone crisis.
The pre-summit report prepared by EU President Herman Van Rompuy implored leaders to take necessary steps to create a genuine economic and monetary union, including the development of an integrated budgetary and economic framework for the fiscal union.
On Thursday, Rompuy announced that a 120-billion euro ($149 billion) plan had been approved by the EU leaders to restore growth in the euro zone. In an important step Friday, the summit agreed to recapitalize euro zone banks without adding to government debt, which will help lower Spain's and Italy's borrowing costs.
Also market sentiment turned positive on the National Association of Realtors' report that showed U.S. pending home sales rose to 5.9 percent in May, up from a 5.5 percent decline in April. In another positive report, the U.S. Census Bureau stated that durable goods orders increased by 0.5 percent in May, up from a 0.2 percent decrease in April.
Major gainers: Shares of China Overseas Land advanced 7.3 percent and shares of China Resources Land Ltd rose 4.4 percent. Shares of HSBC Holdings Plc was up 1.6 percent.
Week Ahead: The EU summit has helped to improve the market sentiment and it is expected that the positive momentum could continue over the next few sessions. So the markets are expected to remain bullish in the next week.