New York Stock Exchange
Specialist trader Geoffrey Friedman (L) gives a price just after the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 21, 2014.Reuters

Asian shares drifted higher on Friday on easing geopolitical worries amid reports North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has offered to stop nuclear testing and agreed to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.

Risk appetite improved following the White House announcement that Trump has accepted an invitation to meet Kim by May.

Investors initially spooked by the exit of Gary Cohn, seen as a key advocate for free trade within the Trump administration, also drew comfort on optimism Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum were narrower than some had feared.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.15 percent, while Australia firmed 0.3 percent.

The gains followed Wall Street, where the Dow ended Thursday with a gain of 0.38 percent, while the S&P 500 added 0.45 percent.

Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50's trend in India, signals a positive start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex gained 318 points or 0.96 percent to close at 33,351 on Thursday.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 65.15 on Thursday, down 0.10 percent from its previous close of 64.89.

So far this year, the rupee weakened 1.8 percent, while foreign investors have bought $235 million and $888 million in equity and debt markets, respectively.

Policy decisions, data: Bank of Japan policy decision and briefing on Friday along with the U.S. monthly payrolls data later in the day.

China GDP: China on Monday kept its 2018 economic growth target of around 6.5 percent. The outlook was released ahead of Premier Li Keqiang's report to the National People's Congress gathering in Beijing.

Crude check: Brent crude gained 0.52 percent at $63.94 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.47 percent at $60.40 a barrel.