Japan's Nikkei jumped to a new four-and-half-year high on Friday thanks to the yen's decline, while China's strong export data lifted other Asian shares. Investors however, remain cautious as focus shifts to upcoming U.S. job numbers.
Tokyo shares closed firmly above the 12,000-mark, Australia pared earlier losses to end within sight of fresh highs and Hong Kong shares rallied 1.4 percent. Amid losers, Seoul's Kospi barely managed to stay above the 2,000-level and Shanghai shares were range bound.
China's trade figures for February revealed signs of a steady recovery in the world's second-largest economy. Trade surplus and exports came in stronger than estimated forecasts but imports slumped 15 percent from a year earlier.
Analysts were quick to dismiss the negative import data. "I wouldn't read too much into that (fall in imports). I think it reflects the fact that we had 10 less trading days than a year ago, that's the real issue," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy & chief economist at AMP Capital Investors.