- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 21, 2003

SINGAPORE, Jan. 21 (UPI) — Asian stocks ended mixed Tuesday, in the absence of any overnight direction from the U.S. stock markets, which were closed for Martin Luther King holiday.

Tokyo stocks rose 1.7 percent, supported by buying interest in the banking sector after Mizuho Holdings, up 4.1 percent, announced it would boost capital to write off more bad loans.

The Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent at 9568.47, with buying interest in the telecom and technology sectors lending support. China Mobile gained 0.5 percent, while China Unicom rose 1.8 percent.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the composite index gained 1.4 percent at 675.87 after some positive comments from JP Morgan on the outlook for the local market. Tenaga Nasional rose 1.6 percent and Malayan Banking rose 1.9 percent.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index ended 1.2 percent higher at 375.91, supported by gains in the telecom sector on hopes a proposed new tax policy will help improve profits. Advanced Info Service surged 3.6 percent, while Shin Corp. rose 1.8 percent.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, the composite index rose 0.18 percent to 405.16 points, raising in late trading on the back of interest in PT Telkom, up 1.43 percent.

But the rest of Asia moved lower. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index finished down 0.3 percent at 632.86, with Samsung Electronics loosing 0.3 percent and Kookmin Bank 1.2 percent.

In Taiwan, the main TAIEX index ended down 0.1 percent at 4,945.87, erasing earlier gains. China Steel, the market's most active issue, fell 1.67 percent.

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index closed 0.6 percent lower at 1060.07 on profit taking after the recent gains.

In Singapore, the Straits Times index rose 0.2 percent at 1365.32.

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