Asian Equities Expected Higher on U.S. Lead

Asian stocks are poised for a firmer start on the last trading day of the week following a stronger finish on Wall Street overnight, but investors will be keeping an eye on inflation data from China.

The 20,000 mark may be within reach for Japan’s Nikkei 225 index after stock futures in Chicago and Osaka traded at 20,085 and 19,980, both higher than the bourse’s previous close of 19,937 – a 15-year peak for the second straight session.

Australian shares are likely to recoup Thursday’s resources-led losses. Futures notched up 0.3 percent to 5,951, a 19-point premium to the underlying S&P ASX 200 index.