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Asia shares sell off ahead of US jobs; China data in focus

Asian stocks tumbled on Friday as a sell-off on Wall Street overshadowed upbeat Chinese trade data and as as attention turned to October's U.S. non-farm payrolls report.

U.S. investors reacted negatively to stronger-than-expected third-quarter growth data as it fueled fears of an early reduction in monetary stimulus. The Dow fell 1 percent, the S&P 500 took its worst hit in ten weeks and the Nasdaq skidded 2 percent after .

Economists expect the U.S. economy to add 125,000 jobs in October, according to a Reuters poll, which would be one of the weakest reports of the year.

(Read more: We're in a worse position than in 2008: Marc Faber)

Last Today's change 1 week change 30 day change YTD change
Nikkei 14086.8 -1.00% -0.81% 1.38% 35.51%
Shanghai Composite 2106.12 -1.09% -2.02% -4.19% -7.18%
Kospi 1984.87 -0.96% -2.67% -0.89% -0.60%
S&P/ASX 200 5400 -0.39% -0.19% 4.88% 16.17%

China data in focus

Mainland exports rose by a better-than-expected 5.6 percent in October from a year earlier, well above economists' forecast for a rise of 3.2 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

"China data has been a highlight in the Asian session, with trade balance coming in at a much better-than-expected $31.1 billion. Analysts feel this data goes a long way towards reinforcing China stability," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in a note.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank's interest rate cut on Thursday took investors by surprise after it cut its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 percent. Many strategists had not expected the central bank to make a move until December.

(Read more: ECB rate cut jolts markets, but is it the fix?)

Emerging markets weigh

The Philippine stock index fell 1.2 percent to a one-month low as one of the strongest storms ever recorded slammed into the nation early Friday.

Thailand's SET shed 1.42 percent ahead of a decision over an amnesty bill for former leader Thaksin Shinawarta. Indian shares meanwhile, eased 0.8 percent.

Nikkei 1% lower

Japanese shares ended at a one-month low, weighed down by weak earnings reports.

Camera maker Nikon fell nearly 4 percent after posting a 44 percent decline in the second quarter while social gaming firm DeNa lost 11 percent after its earnings missed guidance.

Exporters were some of the worst performers as the yen moved off Thursday's multi-week low against the greenback. Suzuki Motor declined 4.8 percent, Sharp eased nearly 3 percent and Sony lost 2.6 percent.

Shanghai slips 1%

China's benchmark index closed at its lowest level in two months as investors stayed on the sidelines amid uncertainty ahead of the Third Plenum meeting that kicks off on Saturday.

(Read more: Five things you should know about China's Plenum)

"Anyone looking for a decisive and detailed statement about reforms will be disappointed. At most, broad principles, largely known, will be served up at the conclusion of the third plenum," said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian Economics Research at HSBC, in a note.

Commodity stocks were among the worst-performers on the back of weaker metal prices. Rare-Earth fell over 4 percent while Xiamen Tungsten lost over 3 percent.

Bulk shipper Cosco fell nearly 4 percent following a report that its director is under investigation for "violation of discipline."

Monthly figures for inflation, industrial output and retail sales are due on Saturday.

Sydney down 0.4%

Australia's share market pared losses after the Reserve Bank of Australia maintained its easing bias in its quarterly policy report. Still, the index snapped four weeks of consecutive gains.

Westpac Banking fell 2.8 percent as it traded ex-dividend while Echo Entertainment declined 4 percent after stating that low consumer spending is hurting its revenue growth.

Miners fell across the board with Fortescue Metals leading losses by 4.2 percent while Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton lost 1 percent each.

Kospi below 2,000

South Korean stocks hit to a two-month closing low due to sharp falls in tech heavyweights. Samsung Electronics finished 2 percent lower while LG Display declined 4 percent.

Hyundai Motor eased 2.2 percent ahead of the election of its labor union chief.

By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC

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