Japan's stocks end three days of losses

Japan nikkei Image copyright Getty Images

Japan's stocks rose on Friday following an upbeat session in US, ending three consecutive days of losses.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 1% at 19,230.48 despite oil prices continuing to sit near seven-year lows.

A weaker yen, which helps the country's big exporters, helped to boost investor confidence.

In Australia, investors continued to worry about commodity-related shares. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.16% at 5,029.50.

Mining giant BHP Billiton ended the day 1.6% lower in Sydney trade, while shares in iron ore miner BC Iron plunged 23.7%.

BC Iron said on Friday it would suspend operations at a key mine in Western Australia, as falling iron ore prices continued to hurt the firm.

"Due to the ongoing and material fall in iron ore price, the decision has been made to temporarily suspend the production of direct shipping ore at the Nullagine joint venture operation," the firm said in a statement.

The operation is a joint venture between BC Iron and Fortescue Metals.

Elsewhere in Asia, China's Shanghai Composite index ended down 0.6% at 3,434.58, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1.1% to 21,464.05.

A report from financial magazine Caixin on Thursday that the billionaire founder of Fosun Group, Guo Guangchang, could not be reached hit investor sentiment. The news potentially affects a large number of the group's listed entities.

Shares in Fosun International were halted from trading in Hong Kong on Friday by the company.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.2% at 1,948.62.

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