Asian equities reversed losses to end higher on Friday ahead of U.S. jobs data, with Hong Kong markets in focus as protests entered their eighth day. Trading volumes were also light with South Korean, Shanghai and Indian markets shut.
Earlier in the day, stocks declined after China's official services Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low in September.
Wall Street shares barely moved overnight on caution ahead of September's nonfarm payrolls report. Consensus estimates are for the creation of 215,000 jobs against 142,000 in August. In a positive sign ahead of the report, jobless claims released on Thursday unexpectedly fell last week.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) left investors disappointed about its asset purchase program. The ECB left interest rates unchanged at its policy review and said it would begin purchases of asset-backed securities this quarter but failed to reveal the size of the program.
Hang Seng 0.8% higher
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index rebounded from a four-and-a-half-month low hit earlier in the day, snapping a four-session losing streak, thanks to a rally amid property developers.
On Thursday, chief executive CY Leung appointed a deputy to talk with protesters but insisted that he will not resign.
Nikkei up 0.3%
Japan's benchmark Nikkei index moved off a one-month low hit earlier in the day as investors cheered a weakening yen. The currency traded in sight of 109 per dollar after hitting a two-week high of 108 overnight.
Index heavyweight Fast Retailing rallied 2.7 percent after the Nikkei business daily said its September same-store sales jumped 20 percent on year.
Softbank fell 0.7 percent after announcing a $250 million investment in film studio Legendary Entertainment.
ASX up 0.4%
Australia's benchmark reversed losses thanks to strong gains in the banking sector.