Japanese shares fall back from record close

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Sydney All Ordinaries Index

Last Updated at 20 Nov 2017, 23:17 GMT *Chart shows local time ASX All Ords intraday chart
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Nikkei indicator board Image copyright European Photopress

Japan's Nikkei fell on Friday, after having risen in the previous three sessions and hitting 15-year highs.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed 0.8% lower at 20,021.70 while the broader Topix index dropped 0.4% to 1,618.66.

Despite Friday's fall, the Nikkei was still up 1.9% over the week as a whole.

Shares in China fell after the country's regulators said they would accelerate the approval of initial public offerings.

Analysts said the move was aimed at cooling the market's recent equity rally.

The Shanghai Composite closed down 0.5% at 4,393.69, although Hong Kong's Hang Seng index reversed earlier losses to end 0.8% higher at 28,060.98.

Rest of Asia

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed down 0.6% at 2,159.80. The index had risen on Thursday after economic data showed that growth in the country had improved in the January-to-March period.

Australia bucked the downward trend, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing up 1.3% at 5,922.70, helped by higher commodity prices.

Oil prices are on track for their sixth week of gains on a weaker US dollar and concerns unrest in the Middle East will disrupt fuel supplies.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, rose more than 3% overnight to $64.85 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate - the US oil benchmark - climbed 2.8% to $57.74 a barrel.