On Thursday, the Dow hit a five-week low after upbeat U.S. retail sales data raised expectations that the Federal Reserve could begin cutting bond purchases at next week's policy meeting.
"This story of strengthening U.S. growth, cautious sentiment and profit taking has been the dominant theme over past days and we don't expect any major change ahead of the FOMC meeting, particularly given a light slate of calendar ahead," said analysts at Credit Agricole in a morning note.
Nikkei up 0.4%
Japan's benchmark Nikkei pared gains following a 1 percent rally earlier in the session after the yen hit new five-year lows against both the euro and the dollar. Domestic manufacturers benefit from a cheaper currency when they repatriate overseas earnings.
Blue-chips and currency-sensitive exporters rose across the board. Index heavyweight Fast Retailing increased 2.4 percent, Fanuc climbed 1.4 percent and Nikon added 0.7 percent.
(Read more: Kuroda: We will hit 2% inflation and maintain it)
News that Japan's cabinet approved $53 billion in fresh stimulus, aimed at cushioning the impact of a sales tax-hike next April, also lifted sentiment.
Sydney rises 0.7%
Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 rebounded from the previous day's four-month closing low, breaking six straight session of losses thanks to strong gains in resources.
Iluka Resources climbed nearly 3 percent after copper and nickel prices hit five-week highs.
(Read more: Another reason why Australians are lucky)
Gold miners were mixed after spot gold tumbled 3 percent in Asian trade before paring losses. Evolution Mining fell 4.3 percent while Kingsgate Consolidated rose 3.6 percent.