Asian markets mostly made modest gains Monday as speculation eased over whether the US Federal Reserve will begin an early tapering of its massive stimulus programme. Emerging-market currencies suffered a torrid few days of trading last week as dealers bet on an end to the Fed\'s $85-billion-a-month monetary easing. But figures showing a slump in US housing market sales on Friday allayed fears of an early stimulus rollback and led to rallies in Europe and the United States. The feel-good factor carried on into the start of the new week\'s trade in Asia, with Sydney closing up 0.23 percent, or 12.0 points, at 5,135.4 and Seoul gaining 0.95 percent, or 17.70 points, to 1,887.86. In Shanghai, Chinese shares jumped 1.90 percent, or 39.01 points, to 2,096.47 boosted by gains in financial stocks and enthusiasm for plans approved last week to create a free-trade zone in the city. Hong Kong closed 0.65 percent, or 141.81 points, higher at 22,005.32. Tokyo\'s benchmark Nikkei index opened 0.43 percent higher but ended down 0.18 percent, or 24.27 points, at 13,636.28. Dealers said the early gains were eroded by profit-taking. In emerging markets, where currencies tumbled last week over concerns that the stimulus-inspired investment splurges in their regions would end, trade was broadly positive. Jakarta was flat in the early afternoon while Kuala Lumpur was up 0.63 percent. Mumbai was up 0.31 percent by lunch. There was some much-needed respite for emerging-market currencies. The Indian rupee, which tumbled to a record low of 65.56 to the dollar last week, fetched 64.16 to the dollar in Tokyo afternoon trade against 64.45 Friday afternoon. The Indonesian rupiah edged up to 10,770 from 10,963. In India, however, analysts said tough times were still ahead for the ailing national currency. \"The rupee is still in a bearish phase and the demand for dollars is not down,\" said Param Sarma, chief executive with NSP Forex. The dollar was largely unchanged against major currencies. It was at 98.60 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade while the euro bought $1.3382 and 131.91 yen. Analysts warned that the lack of economic pointers, apart from ongoing speculation over what the Fed might do, would make trade unpredictable in the coming days. \"Without many fundamental trading incentives, the market remains in a churning process, bouncing between bargain-buying and profit-taking,\" said Tachibana Securities market adviser Kenichi Hirano. In oil markets New York\'s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October, rose 47 cents to $106.89 in afternoon trade. Brent North Sea crude for October added 20 cents to $111.23. Gold fetched $1,395.80 at 0815 GMT, down slightly from $1,397.10 in late Friday trade. In other markets: -- Wellington rose 0.47 percent, or 21.46 points, to 4,545.67. Fletcher Building was up 0.58 percent at NZ$8.65, Telecom Corp lifted 1.12 percent to NZ$2.26 and Choris was down 1.01 percent to NZ$2.94. -- Taipei closed up 0.28 percent, or 21.66 points, at 7894.97. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.21 percent lower at Tw$96.8 while Hon Hai Precision gained 0.99 percent to Tw$81.3. -- Manila was closed for a public holiday.