Asian Equities Mixed with Japan Higher Again

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.


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