(Photo: REUTERS / Stringer)
An investor checks stock information with a computer at a brokerage house in Hefei, Anhui province Feb. 20, 2012.
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.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.77 percent or 69.74 points to 9162.50. Among major gainers were JTEKT Corp (3.93 percent), OKUMA Corp (3.23 percent) and Alps Electric Co Ltd (2.65 percent).
The Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.13 percent or 2.69 points to 2114.89. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.69 percent or 136.77 points to 20099.72. Among major gainers were Sands China Ltd (3.11 percent) and CNOOC Ltd (1.83 percent).
South Korea's KOSPI Composite Index fell 0.58 percent or 11.37 points to 1946.54. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd dropped 3.94 percent and those of Hyundai Motor Co declined 0.20 percent.
India's BSE Sensex was up 0.25 percent or 43.65 points to 17700.86. Among major gainers were United Breweries Ltd (5.35 percent), Tata Motors Ltd (3.08 percent) and Biocon (2.03 percent).
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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 the ECB President Mario Draghi's pledge last month to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro.
"Germany knows that in a common currency area political responsibilities need to be shared. We are on a good path on many of these issues, but time is of the essence. We are fully aware of this," she said.
Investors feel that bold measures from the ECB, including easing in the monetary policy, are urgently needed to boost liquidity in the global financial system. A re-launch of the ECB's bond-buying program is the absolute minimum to be expected.
Earlier this month, the ECB said that it might buy Spanish bonds if the government first applied for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) support. Germany's approval is necessary on the plan of the ECB by which the countries would accept the conditions set out by the EFSF and then the central bank would buy the bonds.
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