Asian equity markets ended mixed on Friday following a weak trade report from China and as caution prevailed ahead of the much-anticipated December U.S. jobs report.
came in at $25.6 billion, far short of the $31.15 billion Reuters predicted, while exports rose an annual 4.3 percent last month, missing estimates for a 4.9 percent rise. Imports however, beat expectations to jump an annual 8.3 percent.
"Perhaps the fact that the numbers out of China aren't that bad suggests there is no need for officials to loosen policy, which is deemed a negative by some investors," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in a note.
(Read more: )
Meanwhile, investors were awaiting Friday's non-farm payrolls report, due out later in the global day. Market expectations are for a payrolls number around 197,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate seen at 7 percent.
Nikkei up 0.2%