Most equities in Asia slipped back on Friday, finishing off a week that saw some serious rebounds from the previous week's sell offs, as well as periods of bargain hunting.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.79% on Friday to 4,952.80, with energy stocks slumping at the same time as crude oil
prices. It was up 3.9% for the week, its best weekly performance in three months. It was still within spitting distance of the psychologically significant 5,000 point mark.
On the Sydney benchmark, the materials index was the strongest performer for the week, up 7.7%. That was followed by energy, up 6.1%, and a recovery in the big banks, with financials up 4.1%.
In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average closed down 1.42% on Friday but had rocketed 8% during the week. Financials were a big winner in that country as well, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group up 9% for the week, despite having lost 3.34% on Friday.
The banking sector of Tokyo's Topix was up 8.2% for the week, but investors were still somewhat cautious it had lost 33% since the start of 2016.
Both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong were off slightly on Friday, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.1% and the Hang Seng Index down 0.4%. Both markets still finished the week up, providing welcome relief for the markets from a year so far marred by steep selling and concerns about the health of the global economy.
Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG, believed shares
in Australia in particular may have bottomed out, saying: "This is the first sign of change I have seen in 2016".
The gains this week came in part due to short spurts of bargain-hunting, given markets had already tumbled so far this year. The buying only came in bursts, however, and investors were reportedly still sitting on piles of cash, poised to sell equities if the volatility of recent weeks returned.
Seoul and Wellington were the bright green lights in a sea of red on Friday, with the Kospi up 0.39% on Friday, putting its weekly gains at 4.4%.
The S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.5% as New Zealand's earnings season continued at pace. Airport operator AIAL was up 7.6% - leading the index - after reporting a 25% lift in first-half profit.
Oil was down in Asian trading, and continued its slide after the region went to bed. Brent crude was last down 1.18% to $33.88 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate was down 1.36% to $30.36.
In currencies, the yen inched ever closer to the greenback, up 0.25% to JPY 112.96 against the USD.
South Korea's won, which had been at its weakest against the dollar
earlier in the week, hit a fresh low on Friday amid expectations the Bank of Korea would cut interest rates in the next few months. It was last 0.59% weaker at KRW 1,234.36 per USD.
Both major traders in the antipodes were weaker against their American namesake, with the Aussie dollar off 0.64% to AUD 1.4062 to the USD and the Kiwi slipping 0.45% to NZD 1.5117.