Japanese shares closed higher on Friday, as strong economic data pulled its market up from a 3 percent loss the previous day.

Japan’s Nikkei index ended a volatile day up 1.8 percent after data showed Japan’s core consumer prices had dropped for the first time since the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began his stimulus programme.

The CPI, which includes oil but not fresh food prices, decline 0.1 percent on a year ago. Asian markets were hit by the news earlier this week that China’s factory activity has fallen to its weakest since 2009.

However, home prices have risen for the fourth consecutive month, signaling growth in the country.

The Shanghai Composite fell 1.5 percent, with the Hang Seng closing up 0.1 percent.

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