Asian equities fell on Friday amid concerns about violence in Iraq and caution before key Chinese data.
U.S. president Barack Obama warned of possible military strikes in Iraq as a rebellion led by a Sunni Islamist group called the Islamic State of Iraq spreads rapidly through the country. Late on Thursday, Kurdish forces in the north took control of Kirkuk, home to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, to protect it from the Islamists. The Iraqi government has since launched air strikes on insurgents in Mosul, which the militants took control of earlier this week.
Attention now turns to the release of Chinese industrial output, fixed asset investment and retail sales data for May at 1.30pm SIN/HK. Industrial output is seen gaining 8.8 percent on year from a 8.7 percent rise in April. Retail sales is expected to rise 12.1 percent on year, versus April’s 11.9 percent gain and FAI for January to May is seen rising an annual 17.1 percent.