SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks in Asia were mostly higher on Friday, although the Australian market went against the trend.
Latching on to a positive tone on Wall Street, which has pushed share prices up for the past five consecutive days, traders and investors in Asia were generally positive on Friday.
At the close of trading, the Nikkei 225 was up 195.90 or 0.97% at 20,359.70.
In China, the Shanghai Composite was ahead 18.73 points or 0.74% at 2,553.83.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng finished up 145.84 points or 0.55% at 26,6667.27.
The Australian All Ordinaries however lost 19.10 points or 0.33% to close Friday at 5,834.80.
The U.S. dollar remained under pressure in Asia on Friday, particularly following further comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reinforcing a slight change in sentiment by the central bank on official interest rates, inferring the pace of hikes may slow.
Around the Sydney close on Friday the euro had firmed to 1.1525.
The British pound edged up to 1.2750 ahead of the British parliament vote on its Brexit strategy on 15 January.
The Japanese yen was a fraction higher at 108.36 Friday.
The Swiss franc edged up to 0.9824. The Canadian dollar rose to 1.3204.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were in demamnd, last quoted on Friday at 0.7210 and 0.6821 respectively.
Wall Street overnight saw gains across the board despite profit projection downgrades from Macy's and American Airlines.
At the close of trading Thursday, the Dow Jones industrials were ahead 122.80 points or 0.51% at 24,001.92.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 11.68 points or 0.45% to 2,596.64.
The Nasdaq Composite jumped 28.99 points or 0.42% to 6,986.07.