Asian Equities Mainly Higher

Mainland shares declined on Friday following a week-long holiday while the rest of the Asian region enjoyed gains on optimism ahead of the closely-watched U.S. payrolls report.

A positive handover from Wall Street helped to lift sentiment. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted their biggest one-day percentage gains of the year after data showed unemployment claims fell more than expected last week, indicating an improving U.S. labor market a day ahead of January’s payrolls report.

Investors also digested overnight central bank decisions. The European Central Bank (ECB) left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, preferring to wait for fresh economic forecasts that are due in March to decide on what new policy action was required. Meanwhile, the Bank of England left rates unchanged at 0.5 percent, but made no comment on forward guidance.

CNBC

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