| GEO World|
| Profit-taking at Asian markets at weekend|
| Updated at: 1751 PST, Saturday, October 17, 2009|
HONG KONG - Asian markets drifted lower Friday as investors took profits after a week of gains driven by upbeat earnings news in the United States.
Hong Kong dropped 0.31 percent to end a three-day run as investors took profits. Analysts said investors would be closely following US earnings next week for further guidance as to the economic picture.
Sydney shed 0.48 percent while Seoul lost 1.12 percent.
Shanghai slipped 0.11 percent on concerns that the launch later this month of a Nasdaq-style exchange will divert cash from the main board.
However, Tokyo bucked the regional trend to close 0.18 percent higher.
Wall Streetís blue-chip index added 0.47 percent Thursday, a day after leaping above the key 10,000 level for the first time in over a year, as upbeat corporate earnings and economic news helped keep the upward momentum.
The market action came after finance giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup both glided past analystsí expectations, while data on unemployment benefit claims and consumer prices were also viewed as positive.