Nikkei battles odds to close higher
Stocks around the region were mixed last week as Japanese and Philippine markets advanced while Thai shares took another battering.
Uncertainty about US interest rates and varying domestic conditions sent exchanges different ways.
Japan's Nikkei-225 Index ended the week as one of the outstanding performers after a volatile ride. The Nikkei powered ahead in mid-week as the decline of the yen against the US dollar fuelled buying of leading exporters.
Computer-guided buy orders helped the Nikkei advance on Wednesday and Thursday as the market reached its highest point in three weeks.
The rally came to an abrupt halt on Friday as renewed fears of financial woes at Japanese banks and a recovering yen hurt the market.
Philippine stocks had a more comfortable rise with the Philippine Composite Index closing the week at a record high of 3,421.91.
This followed the release of strong economic figures for last year.
Jun Trinidad, head of research at DBS Securities Philippines, said: 'There is a strong feeling growth is going to be sustainable and the inflation fighting scenario will continue to go well.' Thai stocks fell after poor trade figures sent the baht tumbling and prompted foreign investors to sell. The SET Index fell to 788.04.