Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday as investors shunned risk on concerns about the pace of policy tightening in the region and growing tensions in Egypt.
A broad sell-off in Asia since the start of 2011 on inflationary worries has shown no signs of abating, as expectations of more monetary tightening have encouraged investors to shift funds from emerging to developed markets.
Analysts said the selling in emerging markets could have some more room to run, especially in countries where stocks are ripe for a pullback after last year's stellar gains and the near term interest rate outlook is unclear.
MSCI's index of Asia Pacific shares-ex-Japan is set to fall by more than 4 percent this week, its worst performance since May 2010.
Seoul shares ended lower on Friday despite a central bank decision to keep interest rates on hold, as foreign selling continued on persistent worries about inflation and monetary tightening.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 1.56 percent .
Insurers lost ground on profit-taking and disappointment about the rate freeze. Insurers usually benefit from interest rate hikes as they have substantial holdings in interest-bearing assets.
Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance slumped nearly 3 percent, while LIG Insurance dropped 2.4 percent.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page