|Asian shares mostly higher
Asian markets mostly rose on Friday, taking a strong lead from Wall Street as investors became a little more upbeat about the US economy ahead of the release of crucial jobs data later in the day.
The euro held up after enjoying a rally on Thursday in response to the European Central Bank's decision to keep interest rates unchanged, despite fears of deflation in the eurozone.
Tokyo climbed 1.61 percent by the break, Hong Kong added 0.78 percent, Sydney rose 0.55 percent and Seoul was 0.44 percent higher. Shanghai, which opened for the first time after a week-long holiday, slipped 0.45 percent.
At the end of a week that started with turmoil in global markets, traders were a lot calmer hours before the US Labor Department reports its non-farm payrolls data for January.
"The upcoming jobs data is viewed as critical for markets, which are pricing in further growth. So any hints that they might be good are positive for sentiment,'' said Mutsumi Kagawa, senior strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.
The figures will be used as a gauge for the strength of the US economy and have taken on huge significance since the Federal Reserve began winding down its stimulus program from last month.
Its decision last week to reduce the bond-buying scheme further this month sent world markets into a tailspin as investors fretted about the impact on emerging markets. --AFP