Asian markets end higher amid thin trade

Asian equities ended mixed on Thursday amid subdued trading.

All eyes are now on US unemployment data due later in the day, and Japanese industrial and retail data scheduled for release on Friday.

The Nikkei index closed 0.6% higher, Shanghai Composite rose 0.9%, while Seoul was up 0.4%. Hong Kong, Sydney and Wellington markets were closed for a public holiday.

The US and China have agreed to an initial trade deal, which they are expected to finalize in January, and the improvement in ties has boosted market sentiment. Trump confirmed that there would be a signing ceremony with Xi Jingping.

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