Asian Equities Open Higher on Japan Data

Asian stocks posted a flat-to-higher open on Friday, overlooking a softer lead from Wall Street overnight, with traders digesting a raft of economic data from Japan.

Overnight, U.S. stocks stepped slightly into negative terrain following a 6.5 percent plunge in Chinese shares and amid a lack of resolution on Greek debt talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite shed 0.2 percent each, while the S&P 500 ticked down 0.1 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fluctuated near the flatline in early trade after the release of a mixed bag of data.  The closely-watched consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent on-year in April, slightly ahead of forecasts for 0.2 percent from a Reuters poll, but markedly lower than the rise of 2.2 percent in March. Following the data blitz, the Japanese yen hovered near an eight-year peak of 123.78.