Asian markets were mixed in the week as investors maintained a watchful mode awaiting monetary easing measures from policymakers around the world to tackle the weakening of the global economic growth.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 3.1 percent and closed at 9162.50. South Korea's Kospi Index remained flat and closed at 1946.54. India's BSE Sensex gained 0.8 percent and closed at 17691.08.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 0.1 percent and closed at 20116.07 and China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.5 percent and closed at 2114.89.
Markets opened the week in a negative note as Japan's gross domestic product growth slowed down in the second quarter, reviving worries among the investors. Japan's economy grew at 0.3 percent in the April-June quarter down from 1.2 percent in the first three months of the year due to a soft global demand and weak consumer spending, show the official data released Monday.
Market regained confidence amid hopes that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) would soon announce stimulus measures to regain the economic growth momentum. Investor sentiment turned positive as the BoJ's minutes of the July meeting announced Tuesday showed that policy makers were considering monetary measures to be taken to rejuvenate the country's economy.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the retail sales rose 0.8 percent in July, up from a decline of 0.7 percent in June. The rise in retail sales is an indication that the U.S. economic growth is reviving moderately.
Investors expect that the U.S. is likely to achieve only 2 percent growth for the year as a whole. But even then, the slowdown in the U.S. has not been steep enough to guarantee that the Federal Reserve will announce further stimulus this year. Market players sense the need for further quantitative easing measures from the Fed to revive the growth.
The biggest drag on the global growth continues to be the debt burden faced by the euro zone. With the increase in borrowing costs weighing down the Spanish and Italian economies, investors sense that the European Central Bank will have to urgently announce bond purchasing policy.
Most of the Asian markets rose Friday as investor confidence was lifted after German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed her country's commitment to support measures to alleviate the debt crisis faced by the euro zone. Market confidence was lifted with the hope that Germany would support the move by the European Central Bank to buy bonds. At a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa Thursday, Merkel said that she supported ECB President Mario Draghi's pledge last month to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro.
Major gainers: Shares of Fanuc Corp climbed 5.8 percent. Shares of Honda Motor Co advanced 5.8 percent and those of China Resources Power Holdings Co rose 3 percent.
Week Ahead: Markets will be expecting the announcements of stimulus measures by the central banks around the globe, especially the U.S Federal reserve and the ECB, to boost the respective economies. Investor confidence is expected to be rejuvenated by hopes on bold measures to tackle the euro zone debt crisis and the faltering U.S. economy.