Asian equity markets were mixed early on Friday, following an uninspiring lead from Wall Street amid lower oil prices. However, Japanese stocks brushed off a raft of weaker-than-expected data to clinch fresh 15-year highs.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed, with stocks near recent highs, as concerns about oil prices and a worse-than-expected initial jobless claims figure weighed on investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished flat, while the S&P 500 closed down 0.2 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed to settle 0.4 percent higher.
Global oil prices dropped on Thursday amid ample global supply and increasing U.S. commercial inventories. U.S. crude settled $2.82 lower at $48.17 a barrel, while benchmark Brent crude fell $1.60 to $60 a barrel.