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Back in Asia, futures suggested a higher open for equities in Japan. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.24 percent at 21,005 compared to the benchmark index’s last close of 20,954.72. Osaka futures were 0.03 percent higher at 20,960.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.24 percent in early trade. The heavily weighted financials sub-index was up 0.3 percent, contributing to broader gains on the index.

In corporate news, Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings could sell its almost 20 percent stake in Tsingtao Brewery, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The move to divest from Tsingtao was in line with the Japanese brewer’s push to grow its business in Europe, Nikkei added.

Oil markets took note of the greater-than-expected decrease in U.S. stockpiles announced Thursday although prices were lower on the day. Brent crude futures fell 1.2 percent to settle at $56.25 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate lost 1.4 percent to settle at $50.60.

Here’s the economic calendar for Friday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 8:00 a.m.: Singapore advance third-quarter GDP
  • 8:30 a.m.: Reserve Bank of Australia Financial Stability Review
  • 10:00 a.m.: China September trade data
  • 12:00 p.m.: Malaysia August retail sales

— CNBC’s Alex Rosenberg contributed to this report.