Chinese shares fell for the first time in seven sessions as investors fretted about efforts to cool the economy. In Europe, mining stocks dropped, pulling down shares in London.
South Korea's Kospi and Taiwan's Taiex, both among the worst-performing Asian benchmarks in February, each rose 1.8%.
In SHANGHAI , the Shanghai Composite shed 0.9% to 2899.79, pulling back after a 5.5% climb over six sessions after a report in the state-run China Securities journal cited several analysts as saying the central bank may raise the reserve-requirement ratio for banks. After the market closed, the bank did just that.
Anhui Conch Cement /zigman2/quotes/204422624/delayed CN:600585 +0.21% fell 1.9%, while Anhui Jianghuai Automobile /zigman2/quotes/202792755/delayed CN:600418 -0.41% slid 2.4%. Tangshan Jidong Cement /zigman2/quotes/201720354/delayed CN:000401 +1.27% fell 1.8% in Shenzhen.
In TOKYO , Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 0.1% to 10842.80, the fifth consecutive rise, even as banks and steel stocks weakened. The weekly rise was the fourth straight and 12th in the past 16 weeks.
JFE Holdings /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 -1.41% and Nippon Steel /zigman2/quotes/209782682/delayed JP:5401 -0.54% fell 1.7% and 1%, respectively, on a Nikkei report that BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP +1.00% has notified big Japanese steelmakers that it wants coking coal prices, now determined quarterly, to be set monthly starting in April.
In SEOUL , the South Korean market rebounded from a three-day losing streak as foreigners, who were net sellers in recent sessions, plowed money back into stocks.
Hyundai Heavy Industries rose 2.7% and GS Engineering & Construction added 5.8%, while Korea Kumho Petrochemical jumped 5.2%.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering rose 5.7% after a person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires the shipbuilder has received a $2 billion order to build 10 container carriers for A.P. Moeller-Maersk.
In SYDNEY , the S&P/ASX 200 fell fractionally to 4936.73, but notched the fourth straight weekly advance. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group /zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed AU:ANZ -0.65% fell 3% despite first-quarter results being in line with expectations.
Billabong International jumped 6.4% after the surf-wear retailer retained its full-year outlook on the back of improving U.S. business.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell fractionally to 291.02, its first loss in six sessions, a day after closing at its highest level since Aug. 12, 2008. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index eased 0.1% to 6082.99. France's CAC-40 index edged up 0.1% to 4157.14. Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.3% to 7426.81.
In LONDON , the mining sector's drop accelerated after China raised its reserve-requirement ratio. BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP +1.00% dropped 2.2% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +0.98% fell 2.3%.
In PARIS , Lafarge jumped 4.1% after the cement maker swung to a fourth-quarter net profit and said it expects to be able to raise prices in 2011 and cut its debt by at least €2 billion.
Project-management and engineering group Technip fell 2.9% after the company made cautious comments late Thursday about projects in North Africa.
In FRANKFURT , Daimler /zigman2/quotes/205332368/delayed DE:DAI -1.15% and BMW /zigman2/quotes/209548467/delayed DE:BMW -1.32% , which have significant sales in China and are sensitive to growth expectations in the country, fell 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.
In AMSTERDAM , satellite-navigation equipment maker TomTom /zigman2/quotes/203605238/delayed NL:TOM2 -0.38% plunged 11% after it said the market for personal-navigation devices shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter. It said both sales and profit will likely be flat in 2011 compared with 2010.
In LISBON , the PSI 20 index fell 1.2% to 8030.33, as retailer Jeronimo Martins slumped 5.7%. The firm reported a rise in fourth-quarter profit, buoyed by a good performance in Poland. However, growth in Portuguese food retail is expected to be "limited" in 2011.
Copyright 2011 A Wall Street Journal Roundup