Asia's markets had a profitable week as hopes that US interest rates would remain stable boosted sentiment. Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore all surged early last week following lower than expected United States inflation numbers released the preceding Friday. Once again the winner for the week in percentage terms was Kuala Lumpur's second board. The index which includes smaller, more speculative companies, added almost 6 per cent to an already meteoric 106 per cent rise since the start of the year. A number of large government-backed infrastructure projects expected to benefit smaller construction firms is said to be behind the second board's strength. The Jakarta Composite Index also made a strong showing, up 3.6 per cent as overseas investors eased concerns on recent political instability and focused on growing corporate profits and a stable economy. Australian stocks took a pounding last week, led by mining shares, after Sumitomo announced that copper trading losses this year had been larger than previously revealed. South Korea reaffirmed its ranking as one of the world's worst-performing markets amid margin calls and military tensions with North Korea.