Asian Shares Log Muted Gains In Cautious Trade

Asian stocks ended a lackluster session mostly higher on Friday after U.S. stocks recovered from an early plunge to end mixed overnight, helped by hopes the Federal Reserve could pause its interest rate hikes.

Investors looked ahead to a key U.S jobs report, with economists expecting employment to increase by 205,000 jobs in November after an increase of 250,000 jobs in October. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.

Chinese shares ended flat in thin trading after a sharp drop on Thursday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished marginally higher at 2,605.89 after losing 1.7 percent in the previous session, as the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou dealt a blow to hopes of easing of U.S.-China trade tensions. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index eased 0.4 percent to close at 26,063.76.

Japanese shares snapped a three-day losing streak despite a firm yen on lingering trade worries. The Nikkei 225 Index gained 177.06 points or 0.8 percent to finish at 21,678.68, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,620.45.

Tokyo Electric Power, Suzuki Motor, Fast Retailing, Fujitsu, Dentsu and Nippon Express rallied 3-4 percent, while Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK and Takeda Pharma lost 3- 5 percent.

Japan Petroleum lost 2.2 percent and Inpex Corp. dropped 1.1 percent as oil extended losses from the previous session after OPEC ended talks in Vienna without a deal on output cuts.

Transport services company Yamato Holdings jumped 3.5 percent after issuing a positive trading update. Kurabo Industries Ltd. also soared 6.7 percent on a Nikkei report that ZOZO Inc. will use threads made by Kurabo for their clothing brand.

On the data front, the average of household spending in Japan fell an annual 0.3 percent in October, a government report showed. That missed expectations for

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