Japanese stocks shrug off weak US lead

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Nikkei stock boardImage source, Getty Images

Japanese stocks traded higher on Friday, shrugging off weak trading on Wall Street.

US markets had fallen again on Thursday as investors mulled the possibility that the US Federal Reserve might raise interest rates as soon as June.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.5% at 16,736.35.

Shares in exporters were lifted after the dollar remained stronger against the yen. Toyota rose 1.2% while Nissan was 0.9% higher.

Investors are watching the G7 meeting in Japan starting on Friday, which is expected to take up currencies as a topic.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.8% to 19,852.20, while the mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite closed 0.7% higher at 2,825.48.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed flat at 1,947.67.

Australia's ASX/200 index climbed 0.6% to finish the day at 5,357.10. Shares in commodity giant BHP Billiton rose 1%, while Rio Tinto closed more than 2% higher.