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Asian indices mixed amid choppy trade; Tokyo at 4-1/2-month low

Asian bourses mirrored the choppy trade overnight in the U.S., with Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul erasing morning gains to trade lower on Friday, as investors fears of a slowing global growth trumped relief over better economic data from the U.S..

Overnight in the U.S., equity markets ended flat following mostly better-than-expected earnings and economic reports.

After a 206-point drop and 69-point gain, the Dow Jones Industrial Average extended losses into a sixth session, falling 0.2 percent. This is the blue-chip index's longest losing streak since August of 2013. The S&P 500 added rose marginally to 1,862.76 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.1 percent.

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Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Tokyo loses 1.4%

Japan's benchmark Nikkei surrendered early gains to close down at 14,532 — a new four-and-a-half-month low — posting its worst week in 6 months.

As the yen continue to hover below the 107 handle, most exporters fell. Nissan Motor and Toyota Motor tanked 3.7 and 2.6 percent each. Canon also dropped 1.9 percent.

Index heavyweight Softbank trimmed gains by half on late Friday, rising 0.7 percent on news that the Japanese firm could invest $650 million in India's SnapDeal.

Also outperforming the bourse was Recruit Holdings which debuted on the Tokyo index on Thursday; shares of the staffing firm rose over 6 percent.

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Mainland shares mixed

After bouncing between gains and losses during the first hour of trade, the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.7 percent on Friday. Banking equities were downbeat; Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China dropped 0.7 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Apple's new iPhone 6 went on sale in China today after winning final approval from regulators. This comes roughly one month after the bigger-screen smartphone went on sale in the U.S. and other countries.

Hong Kong stocks rose 0.5 percent.

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Sydney adds 0.3%

Australia's S&P ASX 200 index entered a two-day winning streak on the last trading day of the week, but gains on the bourse were capped by miners which remained lackluster after iron ore prices lost 2 percent overnight.

Oil and gas producer Santos advanced 0.6 percent, after posting a 4 percent rise in third quarter production - the highest in 7 years - and a 16 percent jump in revenue for the first 9 months of 2014.

Virgin Australia traded flat on news that the budget airline will pay a nominal sum of A$1 to take full control of its 60 percent-owned Tiger Australia Airways venture.

BHP Billiton bowed to investor pressure and decided to pursue a secondary listing for its new spin-off in London, as well as Sydney and South Africa, while Oz Minerals announced that Terry Burgess will step down as CEO on Friday. The former crept up 0.2 percent while the latter lost 0.8 percent.

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Seoul drops 1%

After halting brief modest gain at the open, South Korea's Kospi index widened losses for the rest of the session to eventually close at a 3-month-low of 1,900.

Declining blue-chips weighed on the bourse as Samsung Electronics tanked 2.3 percent while Hyundai Motor slumped nearly 4 percent.

Meanwhile, the won scaled 0.6 percent to trade above 1,063 against the greenback, chalking up a 5-day winning streak.