Asia Markets

Shanghai shares finish at seven-year highs amid quiet trade

Asian shares mostly rise on a quiet Friday, with China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index edging up to its highest close since January 2008.

However, nervousness over Greece's debt negotiations and a fall in crude oil prices tempered risk sentiment. On Thursday, the standoff between Greece and its creditors seemed to have worsened when the International Monetary Fund announced that its delegation had left negotiations in Brussels due to "major differences" with Athens over how to save the country from bankruptcy.

"Regional investors are a bit unsure about how Greece will play out. There are reports making the rounds suggesting the German government is preparing for a Greek bankruptcy. As a result, some investors would be unwilling to be overexposed heading into the weekend," Stan Shamu, IG's market strategist, wrote in a note.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended up slightly, as a positive retail sales report helped to offset negative news out of Greece. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the added 0.2 percent each, while the tech-heavy ticked up 0.1 percent.

Mainland markets up

The key Shanghai stock index advanced 0.9 percent to a fresh seven-year closing high, but sentiment was cautious as investors eyed a fresh batch of initial public offerings (IPOs) on tap next Friday

The slew of new share listings could lock up an estimated 5.5 trillion yuan of funds, according to market analysts.

The blue-chip CSI 300 index moved up 0.5 percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite index rallied 1.3 percent as some investors believed last week's correction was overdone.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 1.2 percent.

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Nikkei adds 0.1%

Japan's Nikkei 225 eked out marginal gains to extend the prior day's rebound, with investors eyeing slight weakness in the yen in Asian trade. Dollar-yen ticked up marginally to trade around 123.5.

Despite marginal gains on the final trading day, the Tokyo bourse sagged 0.64 percent for the whole of this week.

Export-oriented stocks turned mostly higher in the afternoon session, with blue-chips Toyota Motor and Sony advancing nearly 1 percent each.

Toshiba pulled back from earlier losses of more than 2 percent to end down 0.9 percent on a report by the Nikkei business daily that the company is expected to amend past reports to ensure accurate reporting.

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Kospi drops 0.2%

South Korea's Kospi index gave up earlier gains to finish lower, a day after the Bank of Korea decided to cut interest rates to record lows. For the week, the Seoul bourse sagged 0.79 percent.

SK Chemicals declined 2.8 percent after South Korea's patent watchdog ruled against the company concerning a pneumonia vaccine that SK Chemicals had been developing based on a Pfizer drug.

Builder Samsung C&T remained in focus following Thursday's announcement that it would sell 9 million common treasury shares to construction materials firm KCC Corp. The stake sale sets the scene for a battle against U.S. activist fund Elliott, which on Tuesday sought an injunction to block a takeover deal of Samsung C&T by Cheil Industries.

Shares of Samsung C&T extended losses to tumble nearly 2 percent, while Cheil Industries - the de facto holding company of Samsung Group - gained 1.1 percent.

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ASX slips 0.2%

Australia's S&P ASX 200 index ended down modestly, a day after posting its biggest advance in seven weeks on the back of an upbeat jobs report. For the week, the Sydney bourse notched up 0.85 percent.

Iron ore prices hitting fresh four month highs of $65.40 a tonne did little to help miners; Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto receded nearly 1 percent each, while BHP Billiton erased 1.2 percent after Thursday's huge gains.

The healthcare sector outperformed the bourse, with Healthscope and Medibank up 1.5 percent each.

News Corp may be in focus following news that Rupert Murdoch is preparing to step down as CEO of 21st Century Fox. Shares of the media giant shed 0.1 percent.

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Indian markets

The S&P BSE Sensex and the 50-share Nifty index finished up 0.2 percent ahead of the release of consumer price inflation later in the day. When released, the data showed that India's retail inflation edged up to 5.01 percent in May.

Industrial production for April came in at 4.1 percent, compared to the same period last year.