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Asia stocks reverse losses before US jobs; Hong Kong in focus

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.

Read MoreJittery markets await September jobs growth data

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.

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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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.

China Resources Land and China Overseas Land jumped over 6 percent each after Beijing cut mortgage rates and downpayment levels for some home buyers for the first time in seven years.

On Thursday, chief executive CY Leung appointed a deputy to talk with protesters but insisted that he will not resign.

Read MoreLive blog: HK leader offers talks after refusing to quit

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.

Read MoreGet ready for another Asia flashpoint

ASX up 0.4%

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 reversed losses thanks to strong gains in the banking sector.

Australia New Zealand Banking, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia all rose 1 percent each.