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Hong Kong, Jakarta lead gains in light post-holiday trade

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On the first trading session of 2015, Asian equities were quiet on the back of a lack of foreign cues and economic data releases. Thin volume is also likely as China, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines remain shuttered for the holiday season.

A slight rebound in oil prices did little to boost sentiment in Asia. U.S. crude futures gained 80 cents to rise over $54 a barrel early Friday, supported by last week's larger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude stocks but the rise was pressured by China's weak factory activity in December.

Benchmark Brent crude previously settled down 57 cents at $57.33 a barrel.

Read MoreIran says Saudi Arabia should move to curb oil price fall

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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HSI jumps 1%

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index outperformed the region as the property and financial sectors put up robust performances on Friday.

China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China rallied nearly 2 percent, respectively, while Bank of China also piled on 1.4 percent.

Chinese property developers surged; China Vanke advanced more than 10 percent while China Overseas Land and Investments made gains of 8 percent.

Gaming stocks traded lower on reports that gambling revenue in Macau fell last year for the first time. Melco Crown, Galaxy Entertainment and Sands China tumbled 3.7 to 1.6 percent.

China's markets were closed for a holiday and will reopen on Monday.

Read MoreMacau gambling revenue posts first fall since 2001

ASX rises 0.5%

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index closed up on Friday, supported by the resources sector and as most financials erased early losses.

Commodity-related stocks turned positive in the afternoon session. Atlas Iron was the biggest gainer for the day, scaling up 40 percent, while the rest of the miners like Fortescue Metals and BHP Billiton climbed up 3.3 and 0.6 percent each. Energy producers Oil Search erased losses to close flat while Woodside Petroleum notched up 0.3 percent.

Macquarie Group and Westpac Banking reversed declines to inch up 0.4 and 0.3 percent each while National Australia Bank remained lackluster for the session, losing 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar lost 0.5 percent against the greenback to fetch $0.8139 late Friday. "[For 2015,] the Aussie will find itself coming under downward pressure," Michael Every, head of Financial Markets Research, Asia-Pacific at Rabobank, told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box."

"We've already seen the (currency) weakening quite a lot on the back of a slowdown in China and a secular U.S. dollar bull story, but if we do start to see a shift in rhetoric from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), I think it could give a further impetus to that direction... like a seven handle," he added.

Read MoreNikkei tipped to top 20,000 in 2015

Southeast Asian indices up

Singapore's Straits Times index closed up 0.2 percent despite a set of below-view gross domestic product (GDP) released before trade opening on Friday.

The Southeast Asian state expanded 1.6percent on a quarter-on-quarter annualized basis in the fourth quarter, below expectations for a 3 percent growth in a Reuters poll. On a yearly basis, Singapore grew 1.5 percent, also below estimate for a 2 percent expansion.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index closed up 0.3 percent to a three-and-a-half-week high, while the rupiah eased 1 percent to trade at 12,500 - a two-week low - against the U.S. dollar.

Read MoreKeep faith in South Korean shares? Maybe not, say experts

Kospi adds 0.6%

South Korean equities edged up amid light post-holiday trading, led by advances in blue-chips.

Samsung Electronics, which has the heaviest weighing on the Kospi index, crept up 0.3 percent and steelmaker Posco finished 3 percent higher. Hyundai Motor and sister firm Kia Motors were sluggish on Friday. Shares of both carmakers finished flat as capacity constraints and a weak market recovery set up the South Korean pair for their slowest expansion in 12 years.

Wall Street in 2014

On the last day of 2014, Wall Street closed lower in light volume, with major indices erasing gains for December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.9 percent at 17,823.07, for a gain of 7.52 percent for the year - the sixth straight year of gains for the blue chip index. The S&P 500 had its worst final trading day of the year since 2001, closing down 1 percent at 2,058.90, posting a gain of 11.39 percent for the year. Pressured by a nearly 2 percent decline in Apple, the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.9 percent at 4,736.05. The tech-heavy index posted gains of 13.40 percent for 2014.