Asian shares rose and the euro kept most of its overnight gains Friday as investor risk aversion eased after the European Central Bank said it was ready to buy bonds of troubled euro zone countries, while markets awaited the U.S. jobs report.

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.3 percent, Reuters reported. Australian shares were up 0.2 percent, after posting their strongest finish in 14 months. South Korean shares rose 0.7 percent, pulled higher by shares of Samsung Electronics, which jumped after reporting a record quarterly profit.

Tokyo's Nikkei stock average opened up 0.3 percent. 

Chinese markets are closed this week for public holidays.

European shares closed fractionally lower on Thursday as a gloomy economic outlook dented sentiment, but U.S. stocks gained after data showed the number of Americans filing new jobless claims rose only slightly after a big drop the prior week.

Closely watched monthly U.S. payrolls data due at 1230 GMT is forecast to show a rise of 113,000 jobs in September but a tick up in the jobless rate to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in August.

 

The euro steadied at $1.3017, not far from a two-week high of $1.3032 hit on Thursday and inching towards a 4-1/2 month high of $1.31729 seen in mid-September.

Receding risk aversion helped to steady the Australian dollar around $1.0240, off a one-month low of $1.0182 touched on Thursday. The yen, perceived as a safe-haven asset, eased 0.1 percent to 78.52 yen per dollar, near a two-week low of 78.72 hit on Thursday.