Markets in Asia finished mostly higher on the final trading day of the week, reversing some early losses, as investors weighed price increases in China and the possibility of a U.S. interest rate hike later in the year.
The SET index in Thailand advanced 4.18 percent as of 3:06 p.m. HK/SIN, despite Thursday's news of the passing of the country's 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had guided the country through decades of change. The Thai baht traded higher against the dollar at 35.23, compared with its last close at 35.40.
Shares received a boost from a relatively weaker Japanese yen, which was trading at 104.17 against the dollar as of 3:08 p.m. HK/SIN, up from levels below 103.20 earlier in the week.
Japanese export stocks closed mostly higher, with Toyota up 0.40 percent, Nissan gaining 0.81 percent and Honda higher by 0.69 percent. A weaker yen tends to boost exporters as it increases the value of their overseas earnings when they are repatriated.
Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi gained 7.22 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,022.66. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.98 percent by late-afternoon trade, while Chinese mainland markets reversed some of their earlier losses to close mixed. The benchmark Shanghai composite finished up 2.38 points, or 0.08 percent, at 3,063.73, while the Shenzhen composite fell 2.56 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,046.74.
Australian shares moved little, with the benchmark ASX 200 index closing nearly flat at 5,434.00. Among key sectors, materials closed down 0.46 percent, the heavily-weighted financials sector finished lower by 0.26 percent and the energy sub-index finished flat.