Share markets in China and Japan charged up to their highest levels since August 21 on Friday, while the rest of the region faltered ahead of the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls report that could provide hints to when the Federal Reserve will start to push up interest rates.
According to a Reuters survey, nonfarm payrolls likely increased 180,000 in October, well above the average gain of 139,000 jobs for August and September.
Remarks from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen Chair on Wednesday have pointed to a possible December interest rate "liftoff" if upcoming economic data were supportive.
"I think the Fed's language suggests they are setting the bar pretty low in terms of what will prompt the initial rate hike in December. This [jobs report] is one of the last major data point they will get. I think they are expecting it to come in slightly below the run rate and it won't materially impact their plans for December," Sam Chandan, president and chief economist at Chandan Economics, told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Friday. Chandan expects the U.S. economy to have added 182,000 to 185,000 jobs last month.
Major U.S. averages fluctuated between positive and negative territory throughout the overnight trading session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.3 percent overnight, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended flat. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent, finishing a touch below the key psychological level of 2,100 as energy and utilities lagged.