Shanghai shares outperformed the region on the final trading of the week, as the rest of Asia languished on heightened volatility induced by Switzerland's unexpected decision to remove its currency cap, which compounded jitters over global growth and the rout in commodity markets.
Overnight, U.S. stocks fell for a fifth straight session, with the S&P 500 finishing below 2,000 for the first time in a month. A surprise move by Switzerland's central bank to abandon its three-year-old euro cap on the franc, also added volatility to markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.9 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the biggest loser for the day, shedding 1.5 percent.
Oil prices edged up in early Asian trading on Friday benefiting from positive technical price momentum, but analysts said it was too early for a trend reversal of steep recent price falls as structural oversupply remains in place.
Watching the Swiss Franc
The Swiss Franc soared to its highest level since May 2014 after the central bank abandoned the cap on the currency's value against the euro on Thursday. In Friday's Asian trade, one U.S. dollar bought 0.8777 francs.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said the cap, introduced in September 2011, was no longer justified. It also cut a key interest rate from -0.25 percent to -0.75 percent, raising the amount investors pay to hold Swiss deposits.