Asian equities turned mixed on Friday amid concerns about violence in Iraq and signs of improving economic activity from China.
U.S. president Barack Obama warned of possible military strikes in Iraq as a rebellion led by a Sunni Islamist group called the Islamic State of Iraq spreads rapidly through the country. Late on Thursday, Kurdish forces in the north took control of Kirkuk, home to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, to protect it from the Islamists. The Iraqi government has since launched air strikes on insurgents in Mosul, which the militants took control of earlier this week.
Investors digested a raft of May economic data from China. Retail sales rose 12.5 percent on year, beating expectations for a 12.1 percent increase, while industrial output increased 8.8 percent on year, in line with estimates. Fixed asset investment rose 17.2 percent on year for the January-to-May period, just above expectations for a 17.1 percent rise.