(Baystreet Foreign Markets Wrap (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)
Japanese and Australian stocks rebounded Friday as buyers circled back after a sharp decline in the previous session, while mainland Chinese and Hong Kong shares pulled further back amid concerns about policy tightening.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index rebuilt by 76.81 points, or 0.7%, to 11,385.94
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gave back another 124.23 points, or 0.5%, to 22,782.44, after Thursday's 400-point loss.
The day's stock action also resulted in a mixed weekly performance for regional benchmarks, with the Nikkei Average and the Kospi rising 1.9% each, while the Shanghai Composite slumped 4.9% and the Hang Seng Index gave up 2.8%.
In Hong Kong, Bank of China Ltd. lost 1.6%, coal miner China Shenhua Energy Co. fell 1.9% and energy major Cnooc Ltd. slid 1.2%.
Shares of footwear major Belle International Holdings Ltd. tumbled 5.4% in Hong Kong, extending Thursday's 16.8% plunge in the wake of a disappointing earnings outlook.
Over in Japan, heavyweight stocks Fanuc Corp. and Fast Retailing Co. rose 1.4% and 1%, respectively, leading the broader market higher after sharp losses in the previous session.
Investors also snapped up defensive stocks in the telecom and food sectors, with mobile operator Softbank Corp. rising 1.1% and brewer Kirin Holdings Co. climbing 4%.
Tosoh Corp. rallied 4.3% after a Nikkei news report said the chemical maker had developed materials that would stop lithium-ion batteries from catching fire. The risk of combustion is a high-profile issue for the batteries, particularly after they were blamed for problems affecting the Boeing Co. Dreamliner jets.
Those gains offset losses for financials, which dropped on caution ahead of next week's likely selection of a new Bank of Japan governor.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. dropped 0.7%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. fell 1.4% and Nomura Holdings Inc. dropped 0.4%.
In Australia, health-care major CSL Ltd. climbed 1.8% and widely owned telecom giant Telstra Ltd. rising 1.3% on buying interest following a 2.3% slump for the S&P/ASX 200 on Thursday.
Surfwear retailer Billabong International Ltd. tumbled 5.5% after reporting a first-half loss.
Worries that policy makers in China might keep home prices in check with additional tightening measures kept investor sentiment subdued Friday.
The Shanghai CSI 300 Composite 300 index doffed 13.95 points, or 0.5%, to 2,596.60
Furthermore, efforts this week by the Chinese central bank to drain excess liquidity from the money markets also signaled China's intention to tighten policies, analysts said.
Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. lost 1.4%, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. skidded 6.7% and property developer Gemdale Corp. fell 2% in Shanghai.