Asia Markets

Asia shares mixed in thin trade; Shanghai falls to 10-day low

Asian shares were mixed on Friday in quiet trade with many regional markets shut for the Easter holidays, except for Japan, China and South Korea.

A positive handover from Wall Street underpinned gains in Asia. U.S. shares mostly climbed on Thursday, with the extending gains into a fourth session, after earnings from General Electric and Morgan Stanley topped expectations.

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Tensions in Ukraine remain in focus. The U.S., Russia, Ukraine and European Union issued a joint statement calling for an end of violence in eastern Ukraine with President Obama warning that the U.S. and its allies are still prepared to impose more sanctions if the situation fails to improve.

Nikkei up 0.7%

Japan's benchmark index hit its highest level in ten days, posting a weekly gain of 4 percent - its biggest since November. The yen fell to a ten-day low of 102.57 per dollar and that lent support to shares of exporters, who depend on a weaker currency to boost their overseas earnings.

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Among the top gainers, consumer electronic firms Sharp and Sony jumped over 1 percent each.

Cosmetics maker Shiseido rose over 1 percent after raising its operating profit for the fiscal year that ended in March.

Results from the Reuters Corporate Survey also helped to lift sentiment. 40 percent of companies said sales were steady and pricing power little damaged following the country's sales tax increase.

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Shanghai flat

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell to a ten-day low, extending losses into a second session.

Real-estate developers were mixed after data showed new home prices rose 7.7 percent on year in March, slower than February's 8.7 percent annual rise. China Merchants Property lost over 1 percent while Vanke added 0.4 percent.

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Kospi gains 0.6%

South Korea's benchmark Kospi ended just hit 5 points shy of a fresh 2014 high, ending the week with a 0.3 percent increase- its fifth straight week of gains.

Among blue-chips, Hyundai Motor rallied 2 percent while Samsung Electronics ticked up 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the Korean won rose against the dollar, trading near a six-year high of 1,031 hit earlier this month after the International Monetary Fund said the currency was estimated to be as much as 8 percent undervalued.