Asia markets to open modestly higher


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Futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Asian markets on Friday, after U.S. markets finished around the flatline.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.13 percent, while the S&P 500 was off by 0.44 percent. The Nasdaq composite eked out a 0.14 percent gain.

Australia's SPI futures were up 0.1 percent to 5,398, compared to the ASX 200's last close at 5,388.08. Nikkei futures in Chicago were near flat at 16,895, while Osaka futures were up 0.3 percent to 16,840. The Japanese benchmark index closed the Thursday session at 16,772.46.

Oil prices touched a psychologically key level of $50 a barrel on Thursday, before retreating. U.S. crude futures shed 0.26 percent to $49.35.

Investors will look ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who is expected to answer questions Friday afternoon in the U.S. as she receives an award at Harvard University.

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