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Asia stocks decline on caution before US jobs report

Asian shares were mostly lower on Friday as caution over U.S. jobs data overshadowed a record close on Wall Street and stimulus measures from the European Central Bank.

The U.S. May non-farm payrolls report is due later in the day, and analysts polled by Reuters expect to hear that jobs expanded by 218,000 last month, up from April's 288,000 addition. The jobless rate was projected as climbing to 6.4 percent from a more than five-year low in April.

Read MoreReady for market's jobs reaction? Just stay loose

"Faster tick data suggest that the job market recovery could have decelerated somewhat as the start-stop seasonal effects of cold weather wash out. The upshot is that the moderation in the pace of job creation is a long way off a worrying reversal. What this means is that there may be limited impact on policy," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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U.S. stocks closed at record highs on Thursday, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 advancing further into uncharted territory, after widely-followed hedge fund manager Appaloosa Management's David Tepper told CNBC that his chief market concerns have been "alleviated."

Sentiment also received a boost from the European Central Bank, which announced a raft of stimulus measures at its policy review on Thursday, including a negative deposit rate, a cut in its main refinancing rate and plans for a new targeted longer-term refinancing operation.

Read MoreThe ECB eases and the euro… rises?

Nikkei flat

Japanese shares snapped their four-day losing streak but still managed to rally 3 percent for the week - their biggest gain in three weeks. Exporters were sold off as the yen rose to 102.3 per dollar in afternoon trade, off Wednesday's one-month low of 102.79.

Earlier in the session, the index hit a two-month high on news that Prime Minister Abe asked the health minister to complete the Government Pension Investment Fund's asset allocation review by this autumn instead of next March. The allocation review is targeted at shifting more money into domestic stocks, away from bonds.

SoftBank lost 1.5 percent after CEO Masayoshi Son Introduced a human-like robot on Thursday that will be used to staff the firm's cellphone stores.

Read MoreSprint deal makes Masayoshi Son man of the hour

China shares lower

The Shanghai Composite dipped 0.5 percent despite promises from the country's banking regulators to maintain steady monetary policy and tighten supervision over shadow banking.

Reports that the People's Bank of China will pump $11.68 billion into the market this week through money market operations was also unable to spur gains. The move would follow Beijing's comments last week that it plans to increase lending to help rural communities and small and medium enterprises.

Read MoreChina needs 'alternative' stimulus: IMF's Lipton

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 0.5 percent, extending losses from Thursday.

ASX gains 0.5%

Australian shares rebounded after ending at two-week lows in the previous session, snapping three straight sessions of losses. Still, the S&P ASX 200 index posted a 0.5 percent loss for the week.

Read MoreWhy Australia shares have stalled

Gold miners led the gains after bullion prices extended gains from Thursday's 1 percent rally. Evolution Mining rose over 7 percent while Kingsgate Consolidated climbed 6 percent

Insurance Australia Group ticked up 0.3 percent after saying it received approval from New Zealand for the acquisition of Lumley Insurance.

Sensex up 1.5%

Indian shares extended gains after ending at a fresh closing high on Thursday.

South Korean markets were shut for the Memorial Day holiday.

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