CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stocks were trading mostly higher for the second day running Friday even as underlying sentiment remained somewhat cautious ahead of Chinese trade data and U.S. jobs figures for November due later in the day.
The yen weakened against the dollar on optimism for the passage of the U.S. tax bill through the Senate and oil prices traded mixed, while gold edged up after hitting a more than four-month low overnight.
The pound held on to overnight gains after reports that Britain and Ireland were close to a Brexit deal.
China's Shanghai Composite index was marginally lower ahead of trade data due later in the day while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was rising 0.6 percent. South Korea's Kospi was gaining 0.3 percent.
Japan's Nikkei index was up as much as 1.2 percent at 22,759, with property developers and technology shares leading the gainers.
Japan Display soared 9 percent on a Nikkei report that Apple may use liquid crystal technology on one of its models expected next year.
On the economic front, Japan's GDP grew an annual 2.5 percent in the July-September quarter, revised up from a preliminary estimate of 1.4 percent growth, official data showed.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was moving up 0.3 percent, led by financials and energy shares following a firm lead from Wall Street overnight.
Insurance Australia Group advanced 0.8 percent after the insurer struck deals with a trio of European reinsurers to share its premiums.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.8 percent at 8,234, on track for its fourth straight weekly gain.
Overnight, U.S. stocks eked out modest gains amid tax reform optimism. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose around 0.3 percent each while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added half a percent.
European markets also finished modestly higher on Thursday after struggling during the previous two sessions. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index closed little changed with a positive bias.
The German DAX rose 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 index edged up 0.2 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 eased 0.4 percent, dragged down by miners on concerns that Chinese banks may not have enough capital to weather potential losses.
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