Most Asian equities traded higher on the final trading day of the week, following an upbeat handover from the U.S. as conciliatory comments from Russia eased geopolitical concerns.
U.S. markets closed at August highs on Thursday, overlooking subpar economic data from Europe. The euro zone posted a flat gross domestic product (GDP) reading, missing expectations, while a contraction in Germany's economy signaled underlying stress.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell to just below 13 as geopolitical jitters subsided.
In a speech in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a conciliatory tone: "We will do everything in our power so that this conflict is ended as soon as possible, so that the blood can stop flowing in Ukraine."
In Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki has given up his fight to remain Prime Minister of Iraq and pledged support for his successor, Haider al-Abadi, state television reported on Thursday.
Over in the Middle East, a new truce remains in effect after Israel and Palestinian factions agreed to extend the ceasefire for five more days on Wednesday.