BANGKOK -- Markets in Asia followed Wall Street's declines on Thursday, ending mostly down, although China shone on the second day of the year ahead of excitement over the introduction of gold futures in Shanghai next week.In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng finished down 673 points, or 2.4% lower, at 26,887, while in neighboring China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 47 points, or 0.9%, to 5,319. In South Korea the Kospi ended flat, down 0.7 points, at 1,852, while the Taiwanese Taiex slipped 139 points, or 1.7%, to 8184. Japanese equity markets were closed for a national holiday, and reopen tomorrow. The yen continued to trade around its one-month high vs. the dollar, set Wednesday at 109.22, but eased towards the end of the trading session, to 109.52. "Because of the strong yen there needs to be an unwinding of emerging markets," says Winner Lee, an associate director at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong. "In terms of market sentiments, people are still unsure how much stocks will jack down further." Gold stocks bucked the day's bearish trend however, as Sino Gold ( SIOGF) surged 11.25%, to HK$51.90, Zijin Mining ( ZIJMF) climbed 1.8%, to HK$12.54, and Zhaojin Mining ( ZHAOF)soared 5%, to HK$34.60. The price of gold hit a new all-time high of 863.11 after Asian equity markets closed, propelled by advance buying over the introduction of gold futures on the Shanghai exchange next week, inflationary fears and a recently destabilized political climate in Pakistan.