Asian shares mostly higher; Nikkei at new 6-month high
Asian shares ended mostly higher on the final trading day of the week but were off session highs by the afternoon after upbeat U.S. economic data spurred a strong risk-on rally.
Earlier in the session, stocks took their cues from Thursday's finish on Wall Street where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 16,000 for the first time ever after the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits declined to a near-two-month low.
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Nikkei up 0.1%
Japan's Nikkei index managed to close at a new six-month high for a second straight day despite a choppy afternoon session that saw it pare gains from an earlier 1 percent rally. Investors took profits on the index, which has risen 8 percent in the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, dollar-yen remained comfortably above the 101 handle, but moved off an earlier four-and-a-half-month high of 101.35.
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Shares of Aeon REIT, the first Japanese Real Estate Investment Trust to contain an overseas asset, surged 8 percent on their debut.
SoftBank climbed 2.2 percent to a thirteen-year high after hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb disclosed an $1 billion position in the firm.
Sydney up 0.9%
Australia's benchmark index enjoyed a strong rebound from its previous one-month low, snapping a four-day losing streak thanks to a weaker currency.
The Australian dollar extended losses against the greenback following Thursday's 1.2 percent decline after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said he was open to currency intervention in order to weaken the Aussie.
Financials outperformed with Macquarie up 2 percent and Challenger leading gains by nearly 3 percent. AMP and Perpetual rose over 1 percent each.
Food manufacturer Goodman Fielder tumbled over 4 percent after downgrading fiscal-year earnings.
Shanghai 0.4% lower
The mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite closed below the 2,200 level in quiet trade. For the past four sessions, the index has traded in a narrow 34-point range.
Financials reacted negatively to reports that regulator are drafting new rules to curb shadow banking. Industrial Bank and Hua Xia Bank fell over 1 percent each.
Investors digested news that China will turn the majority of its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) into companies with diversified shareholders by 2020, according to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).
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Kospi adds 0.6%
South Korean shares tracked Asia-wide gains to rise above the previous day's one-week low. Sentiment rose after data showed third-quarter household disposable income rose for a tenth straight quarter on an annual basis.
Amid emerging markets, Indian shares closed flat while Thailand's SET lost over 1.2 percent.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC