Majority of Asian shares reaped gains on Friday, despite thin trading volumes before the closely-watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls report. Investors also reacted to news from China, as the world's second-largest economy formally saw its first domestic bond default.
U.S. stocks saw a mixed finish on Thursday on the back of economic data. Weekly jobless claims declined to 323,000, marking the lowest reading in three months, while new orders for American factory goods fell in January.
(Read more: Wall Street sets barlow for Friday's jobs report)
The spotlight now turns to the February nonfarm payrolls report due later Friday. Economists expect the U.S. economy created 150,000 new jobs compared with 113,000 in January, with the cold winter continuing to weigh on the labor market. U.S. consumer credit and trade data for the month of January are also due for release later.
Tokyo rises 1%
Japanese shares continued to outperform regional peers in its third winning session on Friday, touching a new five-week high of 15,312 earlier on the back of a weaker yen.
The Japanese currency traded near 103 against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after Japan revealed plans to diversify the portfolio of its pension fund on late Thursday. This is the first time since late January that the yen broke above the 103 threshold.
(Read more: Japan pension fund may join Nikkei party at last)
Mainland shares saw choppy trade on Friday, as the benchmark Shanghai Composite index remained jittery to the ongoing National People's Congress and various news throughout the day.
The country saw its first-ever domestic bond default as Chaori Solar defaulted on 1 billion yuan worth of bonds on Friday. According to The Wall Street Journal, the firm said on early Friday that the Shanghai government would be treating the default according to market rules.
Banking stocks fell, on fears that the bond default may mean bad news for Chinese lenders. Hua Xia Bank was the biggest loser, dropping nearly 2 percent. Bank of China slipped 0.4 percent while China Construction Bank fell 0.5 percent.
While jitters from the rare domestic default weighed on sentiment, analysts have generally cheered the default and dismissed negative repercussions.
"Be mindful that for the Chinese banks, solar (industry) is less than 0.1 percent of their loan. I think people are starting to panic about what this means for the bank sector, but what we should really be concerned about is the property (sector) which is 30 percent of the banks' loans. Chaori Solaris is insignificant," said Jim Mccafferty, Head of Research at CIMB Securities, to CNBC's Cash Flow.
Property stocks saw declines after China's government announced of a property tax implementation. China Merchants Property and Shanghai Shimao tumbled 2 percent.
(Read more: Why China needs a national property tax)
Developer Vanke traded unchanged, despite news that its full-year profit rose 21 percent.
Sydney gains 0.3%
Despite slow gains throughout the session on Friday, Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index gained ground to end the week on a closing high of 5,462, its highest point since June 2008.
Mining stocks were among the top gainers; Rio Tinto held steady at 0.6 percent gain while Fortescue Metal rose 0.4 percent.
Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum surged over 1 percent, after U.S. oil rose as traders reconsidered the geopolitical risks of Russia's intervention in Crimea.
Limiting gains was Westpac, which saw a steep fall of 1.2 percent.
(Read more: Contained or contagion: How to play Ukraine)
Meanwhile, Australia's central bank governor Glenn Stevens, said in his twice-yearly parliamentary testimony, that low interest rates were helping the economy transition.
South Korean shares lost initial positive momentum at midday and the benchmark Kospi index remained sluggish to finish modestly in the red on Friday.
KT Corp tanked 1.6 percent, after two hackers were arrested for allegedly hacking into the Web site of the mobile carrier, stealing the personal information of 12 million customers.
Hyundai Motor also saw steep declines, losing over 2 percent.
(Read more: Samsung scores win in patent dispute with Apple)
Samsung Electronics was the anomaly, surging to 1 percent on news that a federal judge in California has denied Apple's request to permanently ban Samsung from selling 23 older-model smartphones and tablets smartphones.
India up nearly 2%
India's benchmark Sensex index joined its Asian peers with robust gains on Friday. The index rose 1.87 percent, after hitting an all-time high of 21.960.89 points earlier in the day.
The country was in focus after street violence erupted following Wednesday's announcement that April 7 will be the start of parliamentary elections.
However, some analysts feel the rally may be short-lived.
Steve Brice, Chief Investment Strategist, Standard Chartered Wealth Management Group, told CNBC's Capital Connection, "I think we're looking for the market to be pretty much rangebound in the short term, going up to the elections."
"Its only a resounding win if someone who's going to take reformist policies seriously, wins. The worst thing you can have is neither party having a really strong power base so what you want is a definitive outcome and that will be a victory from a market perspective," he added.
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