Exchange-traded funds tracking Asian markets were among the best performers Friday, as indices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia rose overnight.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6%, Taiwan's Taiex Index gained 1.4%, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5% and Thailand's Stock Exchange finished up 2%.

The PowerShares Golden Dragon Halter USX China ( PGJ) rose 89 cents, or 2.9%, to $31.32. The iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ( FXI) was higher by $5.20, or 3.2%, to $168.79. The SPDR S&P China ( GXC) was adding $2.36, or 2.8%, to $88.28. The iShares MSCI Taiwan Index ( EWT) was up 37 cents, or 2.3%, to $16.37.

Technology- and software-related ETFs were also on the rise thanks to software developer Oracle ( ORCL). The company posted a fiscal first-quarter profit that rose 26% from a year ago, beating the Thomson First Call consensus by a penny.

The Ultra Technology ProShares ( ROM) ETF was up $1.53, or 1.9%, to $84. The Software HOLDRs ( SWH) gained 42 cents, or 1%, to $42.95. The iShares S&P GSTI Software ( IGV) rose 33 cents, or 0.7%, to $49.28. The PowerShares Dynamic Software ( PSJ) was higher by 12 cents, or 0.6%, to $19.91.

Bundled securities tracking chipmakers were also on the rise. Earlier, Texas Instruments ( TXN) raised its dividend by 25% to 10 cents a share. TI also added a buyback of up to $5 billion in stock.

The Ultra Semiconductor ProShares ( USD) gained $1.96, or 2.3%, to $89.36. The Semiconductor HOLDRs ( SMH) was recently up 50 cents, or 1.3%, to $38.79. The PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors ( PSI) added 16 cents, or 0.9%, to $18.95.

On the other hand, ETFs following gold stocks were among the worst performers after Merrill Lynch downgraded Barrick Gold ( ABX) to neutral from buy, citing valuation. The firm also cut Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) to neutral from buy.

The Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX) ETF was lower by 40 cents, or 0.9%, to $45.42. The PowerShares DB Gold ( DGL) eased by 18 cents, or 0.6%, to $28.69. The iShares Comex Gold Trust ( IAU) was off 42 cents, or 0.6%, to $72.40. The streetTRACKS Gold Shares ( GLD) ETF shed 32 cents, or 0.4%, to $72.40.

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