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Resource stocks fall but techs show strength

By Staff
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HONG KONG, Apr 21 (Reuters) Resource shares such as BHP Billiton and Inpex Holdings came under pressure on Friday as the rally in oil, base metals and precious metals ran out of steam.

But upbeat quarterly results from major U.S. companies such as General Motors Corp. and Google Inc. helped drive up blue chips including Sony and Samsung Electronics Oil prices slipped from a fresh all-time high above a barrel as profit-taking swept across booming commodity markets.

At 0044 GMT, Tokyo stocks were 0.2 percent higher.

Yahoo Japan Corp. rose 0.9 percent a day after the country's biggest Internet portal forecast higher results for the current quarter, while Sony Corp. 6758.climbed 1.4 percent.

But Inpex fell 1.6 percent, Sumitomo Metal Mining shed 2.6 percent and top casual wear chain Fast Retailing lost 1.2 percent.

In Australia, weakness in the major miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto helped drag the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index down 0.41 percent.

BHP fell 2.4 percent, Rio Tinto lost 1.7 percent and gold producer Newcrest Mining shed 2.4 percent.

Bucking the weaker trend, South Korea's key KOSPI added 0.7 percent thanks to gains of 1.2 percent for market heavyweight Samsung Electronics, 2.2 percent for Hynix Semiconductor and 1.2 percent for LG.Philips LCD ''U.S. earnings are looking quite good and the U.S. markets have been rising, all of which are positive for our markets,'' said Choo Hee-yeop, deputy general manager of asset management strategy at Korea Investment and Strategy.

''However, gains could be more limited because of foreign exchange and oil worries.'' On Wall Street, the Dow rose 0.57 percent to its highest close in six years, but the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.35 percent.

REUTERS PG PM0623

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