In Japan the mood was more cautious with the benchmark Nikkei ending down 1.35 per cent on Friday, it’s fourth straight fall.
Worries that the US economy might be slowing added to jitters over the past week’s global market slide.
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Figures released on Wednesday showed that growth in the US economy has slowed to a 2.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, down from an initial estimate of 3.5 per cent.
Investors in Japan are mostly focused on the outlook for the US economy, which is the largest export market for Japan’s giant car and electrical manufacturers.
Analysts say they expect more of the rollercoaster ride in the coming weeks as investor caution prevails, but that the long-term uptrend for Asian markets remains sound.
“Overall investors’ sentiments remain fragile after the market’s sharp decline in recent days”
Kenny Tang, Tung Tai Securities, Hong Kong
Overall the Shanghai Composite Index ended the week down 5.57 per cent on Monday’s open.
The slide came off the back of a 130 per cent surge in the market’s value in 2006, coupled with a further 14 percent rally this year that had raised worries of a market bubble.
Given that, analysts and fund managers said the pullback was a “healthy” adjustment.
In Hong Kong shares ended the week up very slightly after a four-day losing streak.
The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 0.49 per cent, but analysts warned market sentiment is still cautious.
“Despite today’s technical rebound, overall investors’ sentiments remain fragile after the market’s sharp decline in recent days,” Kenny Tang, associate director of Tung Tai Securities, told The Associated Press.
Stocks in Chinese telecoms were among those being snapped in Hong Kong, where investors saw them as something as a bargain after days of selling.
Elsewhere in Asia other markets continued to suffering from the fall-out of Tuesday’s Shanghai slide.
In Manila the benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 1.6 per cent over lingering concerns over the global economy.
It had rebounded 4 per cent on Thursday after plunging 7.9 per cent a day earlier.
Shares in Malaysia were also hit by continued selling as investors switched to profit-taking across the board ahead of the weekend.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index ended the day down 1.3 per cent with analysts saying a rebound remains some way off as the big retail investors stay on the sidelines.
Shares in Singapore also closed down by just under half a per cent, capping five straight days of falls this week.