Kospi drops 0.7%
South Korea's key Kospi index turned negative after the Bank of Korea kept interest rates unchanged for a second straight month and eventually closed down on Friday. The Seoul bourse had risen as much as 0.5 percent earlier in the session, but lost momentum after heavyweight components reversed direction.
Samsung Electronics is in focus following the company's announcement that heir apparent Jay Y. Lee will take over from his father Lee Kun-hee as head of two key foundations. Shares of the South Korean tech giant finished 1 percent lower.
Korean Airlines announced a wider-than-expected net loss for the first three months of 2015 late Thursday, and shares of the national carrier fell 0.8 percent.
Top performer Shinsegae rebounded 1 percent after briefly dipping into the red. The department store giant rose as much as 5 percent in the morning, which propelled the stock to its highest level since October 2013. Buoyed by the company's plan to operate a duty-free shop in central Seoul and Tuesday's release of better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, the retailer has risen over 20 percent this week.
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Nikkei rises 0.8%
Japan's Nikkei 225 index got a reprieve from receding volatility in bonds and as the yen ticked up 0.2 percent to 119.40. The fall in dollar-yen on Thursday, sparked by the selloff in global bond markets, sent jitters through the equity market and led the Tokyo bourse down 1 percent to a near one-week low.
However, it was the decliners that hogged the spotlight on Friday. Nikon plunged 11 percent following a weak earnings forecast, while Sharp closed down 7 percent after announcing that it has secured a $1.7 billion bailout from banks on Thursday, marking its second major rescue in three years. The loss-making electronics giant will also embark on further restructuring that includes a 10 percent cut of its global workforce.
Another laggard was airbag maker Takata, which slumped 2.6 percent as Honda recalled an additional 4.89 million cars equipped with faulty airbags on Thursday.
Among gainers, Dentsu surged 14 percent, touching a record high of 6,210 yen during intra-day trade, after announcing a share buyback plan and raising its dividend outlook.