Asian indexes climb on global optimism

Asian markets closed higher on Friday with markets in the region trading at or around multi-year highs. Japan's benchmark index touched a 26-year high while the Hang Seng Index touched a fresh decade-high earlier in the session.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index tacked on 0.89 percent, or 208.2 points, to close at 23,714.53 while the Hang Seng Index, last year's top-performing Asian major, slipped below the flat line after trading higher for most of the session.

Property developers were mostly higher, with Sunac climbing 4.92 percent and China Evergrande rising 1.96 percent. Technology names, however, were in negative territory, with heavyweight Tencent shedding 0.32 percent ahead of the market close.

The New Year rally seen in China markets largely continued on the last trading day of week. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.2 percent to close at 3,392.36 and the Shenzhen Composite closed 0.04 percent higher at 1,941.8.

The gains were seen after positive China data releases during the week that showed manufacturing and services sector activity in December came in better than expected.

In other markets:

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi rose 1.26 percent to end at 2,497.52, with automakers gaining after closing lower in the last session. Tech blue chips also drove gains on the index. Hyundai Motor edged up 1.71 percent and SK Hynix rose 2.85 percent on Friday.

Samsung Electronics advanced 2.04 percent ahead of the company's fourth-quarter guidance, which is expected next Tuesday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.74 percent at 6,122.3 as the telecommunications, financials and materials sectors rose. Major mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP closed up 0.51 percent and 0.82 percent, respectively. Among gold producers, Evolution Mining advanced 1.55 percent by the end of the day.

In New Zealand , equities turned lower in afternoon trading following consecutive record-high closes to start 2018, as some large caps eased in holiday-thinned trading. Taiwan's stock benchmark , which jumped 1.9% the past three sessions, was slightly weaker most of the morning.