Asian shares mixed but Nikkei's record run continues

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Asian markets ended mixed on Friday, but shares in Japan continued their recent strong run.

The Nikkei hit 17,520 - its highest intraday level since July 2007 - before closing at 17,490.83.

The dollar hit a new seven-year high against the yen at 116.29 on continued speculation that Japan's prime minister will call a snap election next month and delay the sales tax rise.

Shares of Takata were down 0.5%, making its fall for the year almost 60%.

The renewed pressure came after the auto parts maker said it was under a criminal investigation in the US over its airbags, which have been linked to five deaths.

Hong Kong shares posted modest gains. The benchmark Hang Seng Index inched up 0.28% to close at 24,087.38.

In the mainland the Shanghai Composite closed down 0.27%, or 6.79 points, at 2,478.82 points.

Australian shares ended a four-day losing streak on Friday helped by gains in banks. ANZ rose 0.9% while Commonwealth Bank gained 0.6%.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.2% at 5,454.3, but energy stocks weighed on the market, dragged lower by falling oil prices.

The price of Brent crude oil lost 4.4% on Thursday to $77.52 a barrel, its lowest level for four years. US crude also fell to a four-year low.

South Korean shares closed down 0.8%, with the Kospi at 1,945.14, after data showed that exports in October rose 2.3%, slightly lower than a provisional 2.5% rise reported earlier.

Trading direction for next week will be largely determined by what comes out of the G20 summit taking place in Brisbane, Australia at the weekend.

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