Asian stocks were mostly lower on Friday after the U.S. authorized targeted airstrikes on Iraq but robust trade data from China helped to pare losses.
Speaking at a press conference, U.S. president Barack Obama said he authorized the U.S. military to make targeted airstrikes in Iraq to protect American personnel. His remarks came as the U.S. began an effort to drop humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians in the northwest of the country.
"Short-term volatility has come alive today, with investors hedging and adopting a 'return of equity' mentality. I would personally hold off from accumulating just yet until clarity is restored, although those who subscribe to the mantra 'buy when fear is high' would look at this market with great interest," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, in a note.
Meanwhile, the world's second-largest economy saw exports surge 14.5 percent on year, blowing past expectations for a 7.5 percent rise, while the surplus rose to $47.3 billion, compared to forecasts for $27 billion.