Hong Kong (AFP) - Asian markets were mixed Friday following another weak lead from Wall Street as investors await the release of key US jobs data, while Shanghai eased after China said its trade surplus shrank in December.
Tokyo rebounded from earlier losses thanks to a pick-up in the dollar against the yen. The Nikkei ended 0.20 percent, or 31.73 points, higher at 15,912.06 and the Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.13 percent, or 1.73 points, at 1,298.48.
"Investors sat on the sidelines ahead of the US employment report, but the Nikkei gained towards the closing thanks to a strong outlook for the jobs data," said Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.
Mitsubishi Materials ended down 1.59 percent at 370 yen after an explosion at one of its chemical plants Thursday that killed five workers and injured a dozen.
Toyota gained 0.31 percent to 6,290 yen, Canon fell 0.91 percent to 3,235 yen and Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing added 3.26 percent to 41,100 yen.
Hong Kong stocks also rose, but Shanghai slipped after official data showed Chinese export growth slowed in December.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 58.92 points to end at 22,846.25 on turnover of HK$68.53 billion ($8.84 billion).
China's annual trade in goods passed the $4 trillion mark for the first time but exports grew just 4.3 percent year on year during the month, much slower than the 12.7 percent jump seen in November.
On the Hong Kong market, Henderson Land Development climbed 2.06 percent to HK$44.65, HSBC added 0.18 percent to HK$85.40, energy giant CNOOC fell 0.86 percent to HK$13.76, China Mobile was up 0.58 percent at HK$77.80 and Cathay Pacific rallied 3.28 percent to HK$17.02.
In China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.71 percent, or 14.32 points, to 2,013.30 on turnover of 61.0 billion yuan ($10.0 billion). The index lost 3.35 percent for the week.
The Seoul market finished down 0.39 percent, shedding 7.57 points to 1,938.54 and Sydney eased 0.23 percent, or 12.0 points, to 5,312.4.
On forex markets the euro held its own after suffering a sell-off on Thursday in response to ECB head Mario Draghi's warning over the eurozone economy as recent data spurred fears of deflation similar to that suffered by Japan in the past decade.
In afternoon Tokyo trade Friday the euro fetched 142.78 yen and $1.3608.
The dollar was changing hands at 104.95 yen compared with 104.79 yen in New York.
In oil trade, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was up 89 cents to $92.55 a barrel in afternoon trade, while Brent North crude for February gained 50 cents to $106.89.
Gold fetched $1,233.53 at 1045 GMT compared with $1,226.19 late Thursday.
In other markets:
-- Bangkok lost 0.22 , or 2.81 points, to 1,255.45.
Siam Cement dropped 0.26 percent to 391.00 baht, while oil company PTT gained 1.06 percent to 287.00 baht.
-- Singapore slipped 0.05 percent, or 1.54 points, to 3,143.87.
Real Estate developer Capitaland eased 0.34 percent to Sg$2.96 while DBS Bank gained 0.17 percent to Sg$17.37.
-- Jakarta climbed 1.28 percent, or 53.75 points, to 4,254.97.
Bank Negara Indonesia gained 2.88 percent at 3,930 rupiah, while Hero Supermarket fell 1.01 percent to 2,450 rupiah.
-- Kuala Lumpur ended flat, losing a scant 1.6 points to close at 1,826.61.
Broadcaster Astro Malaysia fell 1.6 percent at 2.99 ringgit and Petronas Gas lost 1.2 percent to end at 23.00 ringgit.
-- Taipei rose 0.17 percent, or 14.67 points, to 8,529.35.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. rose 0.99 percent to Tw$102.0 while smartphone maker HTC fell 1.39 percent to Tw$128.0.
-- Manila tumbled 1.59 percent, or 94.63 points, to 5,842.88.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone dipped 0.15 percent to 2,690.00 pesos and Metropolitan Bank plunged 4.80 percent to 70.35 pesos.
-- Wellington added 1.03 percent, or 49.52 points, to 4,864.39.
Fletcher Building was up 2.79 percent at NZ$8.85 and Air New Zealand was unchanged at NZ$1.64.
-- Mumbai rose 0.22 percent, or 45.12 points, to 20,758.49.
Infosys gained 2.84 percent to 3,548.90 rupees while Wipro rose 2.55 percent to 554.55 rupees.