Asian markets opened on a positive note on Tuesday (Mar. 18, 2008). The markets advanced for the first time in four days, led by financial companies, on increased speculation that U.S. Fed will cut interest rates by 1% point.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group advanced. Korean Air Lines climbed on speculation crude oil`s decline from the record high will reduce fuel costs.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group declined after copper and aluminum declined.
Japanese benchmark index Nikkei advanced 172.05 points, or 1.46%, to trade at 11,959.56.
Hong Kong`s index Hang Seng climbed 71.19 points, or 0.34%, to trade at 21,155.80.
China`s Shanghai Composite declined 78.35 points, or 2.05%, to trade at 3,741.70.
Taiwan`s Taiex index rose 12.22 points, or 0.15%, to trade at 8,017.68.
South Korea`s KOSPI advanced 9.45 points, or 0.60%, to trade at 1,583.89.
Singapore`s Straits Times rose marginally 9.28 points, or 0.33%, to trade at 2,802.03. (8.20 a.m., IST)