Asian stock markets rose in the week as investor sentiment turned positive amid the hope that the policymakers in Japan and China would soon announce stimulus measures to revive the economic growth momentum.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 4.6 percent and closed at 10395.18. South Korea's Kospi Index rose 0.8 percent and closed at 1997.05.
Investor confidence was lifted by the hope that the Bank of Japan would come under more political pressure to announce monetary easing steps after a report had shown that the country’s industrial output decreased in November. According to the data released Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan’s industrial production, which measures the total inflation-adjusted value of output from manufacturers, mines and utilities, fell 1.7 percent in November compared to a 1.6 percent rise in October.
South Korea’s industrial output rose in November compared to that in the previous month, continuing the period of expansion in the last two months, indicating that there was hope that the country’s economy was reviving in spite of the soft global demand. The industrial output rose 2.9 percent in November compared to that in the same month last year, from a 0.8 percent decrease in October.
According to the data released Friday by the Korea National Statistical Office, industrial production rose 2.3 percent in November from a 0.7 percent increase in October on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.7 percent and closed at 22666.59. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 3.7 percent and closed at 2233.25.
Market players were waiting for an announcement of the stimulus measures by China as investors felt that bold measures, including easing in the monetary policy, would give a much needed thrust to boost liquidity in the Chinese financial system.
India's BSE Sensex was up 1 percent and closed at 19444.84.
Investors were focusing on the developments in the U.S. Market players hoped that President Barack Obama and the congressional leaders would make advances toward reaching an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. Obama will be holding a series of discussions with the congressional leaders over the weekend to prevent the economy from falling into a recession.
Major Losers: Shares of Mazda Motor Corp climbed 18 percent. Shares of Toyota Motor Corp gained 5.8 percent and those of Fuji Heavy industries Ltd rose 5.2 percent.