- Japan's Nikkei 225 gave up most of its gains to close 0.09% higher at 29,357.82 while the Topix index added 0.29% to 1,933.05.
- In South Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.58% to 3,197.20 while in Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 gained 0.27% to 7,080.80 as major banks and miners rose.
- Friday's session follows overnight moves on Wall Street where major U.S. indexes advanced following a better-than-expected reading on jobless claims.
SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed Friday, with some indexes shedding gains, ahead of the U.S. jobs report due later in the day that might provide some indication on what the Fed could do next.
Japan's Nikkei 225 gave up most of its gains to close 0.09% higher at 29,357.82 while the Topix index added 0.29% to 1,933.05.
SPH, which also has a real estate business, said Thursday it will spin off its troubled media business into a not-for-profit entity.
Friday's session followed overnight moves on Wall Street where major U.S. indexes advanced following a better-than-expected reading on jobless claims.
"There was limited movement in equity markets overnight, as relatively strong economic data were offset by news the Biden administration is likely to keep some Trump-era limits on US investments in some Chinese companies," ANZ analysts wrote in a morning note.
Investors will be looking ahead to the U.S. nonfarm payroll count for April due Friday — economists expect as many as 1 million payrolls were added last month and the unemployment rate likely fell from 6% to 5.8%.
As one of the most influential economic reports in global financial markets, the April jobs numbers will carry more importance as it may indicate what the U.S. Federal Reserve may do next. The U.S. central bank has pledged to keep its zero rates policy and other easing measures in place until it believes the labor market is strong and inflation is hotter.
The U.S. dollar fell 0.14% to 90.827 against a basket of its peers, falling from a level above 91.200 in the previous session.
Oil prices wavered Thursday during Asian trading hours. U.S. crude futures traded down 0.06% at $64.67 per barrel while global benchmark Brent was little changed at $68.10. Overnight, prices fell more than 1%.
ANZ analysts said that the uneven recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is causing the market to reflect on the outlook.
"While demand in major markets such as Europe and North American are recovering strongly, a new wave of Covid-19 cases is raising concerns about demand in Asia," they wrote, adding, "This is likely to keep a lid on prices until there is more clarity around the impact new restrictions in countries like India is having on demand."
— CNBC's Thomas Franck contributed to this report.