| Updated at: 1657 PST, Friday, November 26, 2010|
HONG KONG: Asian stock markets were mixed Friday in quiet trade overshadowed by tensions on the Korean peninsula and the eurozone's debt woes.
With markets in the United States closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, dealers lacked a strong peg to buy on.
Sydney gained 0.11 percent, or 4.9 points, to end at 4,598.3. However, Tokyo fell 0.40 percent, or 40.20 points, to 10,039.56, Shanghai slipped 0.92 percent, or 26.56 points, to 2,871.70 and Hong Kong dropped 0.77 percent, or 177.43 points, to 22,877.25. Seoul tumbled 1.34 percent, or 25.88 points, to 1,901.80 after a warning from North Korea that the region could move closer to war if the South and the United States go ahead with planned military exercises.
Despite the international intervention, doubts remain about Ireland's ability to stabilise its shattered finances and have fuelled concern about Portugal and the far larger Spanish economy. The worries continued to pressure the euro, which traded at 1.3324 dollars in Tokyo, easing from 1.3370 dollars in London Thursday, and also slipped to 111.60 yen from 111.75. "Thus far, any relief money markets have had from an Irish bailout hasn't been sustained," Chris Gore, sales trader at GoMarkets in Melbourne, told Dow Jones Newswires.
"This of course is seen as a key barometer of market sentiment, which only stands to highlight the economic turmoil from Europe's other trouble nations."
Regional stock markets were supported on Thursday by Wall Street, which posted strong gains after upbeat economic data, including on jobs and spending. The improved sentiment has lifted the dollar, which was sitting at 83.78 yen in Tokyo, up from 83.64 yen in London as traders bought the safe haven currency amid the latest Korean crisis.
On oil markets New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, slid 23 cents to 83.63 dollars per barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for January fell 56 cents to 85.54 dollars.
Gold closed at 1,366.00-1,367.00 US dollars an ounce in Hong Kong, up from Thursday's close of 1,370.00-1,371.00 dollars.
In other markets:
Singapore closed flat, edging down 1.15 points to 3,158.08. Sembcorp Industries fell 1.62 percent to 4.87 and Keppel Land shed 1.30 percent to 4.57. Taipei fell 0.45 percent, or 37.84 points, to 8,312.15.
China Airlines fell 0.87 percent to 22.7 Taiwan dollars while semiconductor firm UMC was down 0.67 percent to 14.9. Manila ended down 1.07 percent, or 43.91 points, at 4,053.58. Aboitiz Power was off 2.4 percent at 32.95 pesos, Alliance Global fell 1.7 percent to 11.80 and Manila Electric shed 6.4 percent to close at 175.
Jakarta fell 1.61 percent, or 59.51 points, to 3,642.50. Bank Rakyat Indonesia shed 3.1 percent to 11,100 rupiah, while Bank Mandiri lost 2.9 percent to 6,800 rupiah.
Coking coal producer Borneo Lumbung Energi jumped 9.4 percent to 1,400 rupiah on its listing debut. Kuala Lumpur fell 0.30 percent, or 4.44 points, to 1,492.05. Gaming firm Genting fell 1.2 percent to 10.28 ringgit and UEM Land was down 5.0 percent at 2.10 but property giant QSR climbed 10.5 percent to 6.20.