Asia Markets

Asia shares mostly lower after jet crash; Malaysia Airlines sinks


Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Friday after the crash of a passenger plane in Ukraine and a ground offensive in Gaza sparked geopolitical tensions.

On Thursday, a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 298 people crashed over eastern Ukraine after being hit by a surface-to-air missile, U.S. officials said. Both the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels fighting in the region have denied responsibility.

Read MoreMH17 shot down: Here's the latest

"Unless we hear more definitive news, the uncertainty could see elevated risk aversion," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the start of a ground campaign in Gaza. The decision came as a surprise as officials from the Palestinian authority and Israel were believed to be progressing in talks in Egypt aimed at a lasting cease-fire.

KLCI down 0.4%

Malaysia's benchmark index fell to a one-month low while the eased 0.3 percent against the greenback, near a two-week low hit on Wednesday. Malaysia Airlines closed down 11 percent after slumping as much as 15 percent at the open.

Read MoreMalaysian bank merger to disrupt Islamic finance

Will the MH17 crash derail markets?

Nikkei 1% lower

Japan's benchmark index fell to a one-week low while, the safe-haven yen rose to a one-week high at 101.08 per dollar.

Consumer electronic stocks underpinned losses with Yamaha down nearly 4 percent while Sharp lost over 2 percent. Other exporters also underperformed with Mitsubishi Motors down 2 percent.

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Minutes from the Bank of Japan's June meeting released in early trade showed that policymakers expected only a moderate increase in exports going forward.

China shares mixed

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index erased early losses to end 0.2 percent higher, snapping a two-day losing streak.

Property stocks rallied after data showed home prices rose at their slowest annual pace so far this year in June. China Merchants Property and Poly Real Estate surged over 4 percent, while Vanke jumped 3.2 percent.

Read MoreZero-interest loans highlight China property risks

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 percent.

China will like slowing home prices: Credit Suisse

ASX 0.2% higher

Australian stocks reversed early losses in a choppy session while the Australian dollar inched up 0.2 percent against the greenback.

Gold miners rallied even as bullion prices retreated following Thursday's 1.5 percent gain. Endeavor Mining climbed 5 percent while Newcrest Mining rose over 3 percent.

Kospi flat

South Korean shares fell off the previous session's seven-month high, weighed down by losses in blue-chips. LG Electronics led losses by over 1 percent.

Nifty 0.3% lower

Indian shares finished higher by 0.3 percent while the rupee lost 0.2 percent against the greenback.