Most Asian markets rose in cautious trading Friday as investors looked ahead to a key U.S. jobs report for clues about the outlook for the world's largest economy - an important export market for Asia.
Trading has been jittery the last couple of weeks amid worries that the rally in global markets since March may have been overdone. China's stock market, which has been particularly volatile, edged higher by the afternoon.
Top finance officials from the Group of 20 gathering in London Friday were expected to stress their commitment to boosting the global economy, although there was likely to be disagreement over when exactly to scale back stimulus efforts amid growing signs of recovery.
Investors were heartened by the modest advance Thursday on Wall Street, where markets broke a four-day slide. But many were holding back until the U.S. Labour Department released jobs numbers later Friday. Economists expect the unemployment rate to edge up to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent, while the number of layoffs is expected to slow to 225,000 from 247,000.
"The movement seems to be very much sideways because the investors are waiting for more indications such as the U.S. employment data to be released tonight," said Ben Kwong Man Bun, the chief operating officer at KGI Securities.
"It's stabilizing a bit, but there's too much uncertainty about whether rebound can be sustained," he said.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 105.69 points, or 0.5 percent, to 19,867.37, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 7.3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,436.9. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite index climbed 6.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,851.56, after surging 4.8 percent Thursday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index, meanwhile, slipped 27.53 points, or 0.3 percent, to 10,187.11, and South Korea's Kospi slid 0.3 percent to 1,608.90.
Markets in India, Thailand and the Philippines all advanced.
U.S. stock index futures were down slightly, suggesting a tepid open on Wall Street Friday.
In New York Thursday, stocks gained in light trading. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 63.94, or 0.7 percent, to 9,344.61, while the S&P 500 index climbed 8.49, or 0.9 percent, to 1,003.24. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 16.13, or 0.8 percent, to 1,983.20.
Oil prices rose, with benchmark oil for October delivery gaining 25 cents to $68.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In currencies, the dollar edged up to 92.60 yen from 92.56 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro rose to $1.4264 from $1.4254.