Nikkei sheds 0.3%
Japan's Nikkei 225 index nursed modest losses even though data released before the market open came in better than expectations.
Japan's core consumer price index (CPI) ticked up 0.1 percent from a year earlier in May, just a tad above Reuters' expectations for a flat reading. The unemployment rate was steady at 3.3 percent in May, in line with expectations, while household expenditures beat estimates to rise 4.8 percent on-year. According to a Reuters poll, household spending was expected to gain 3.4 percent on-year.
Some export-oriented counters recovered from the selloff earlier in the session; Honda and Toyota Motor trimmed losses to 0.6 and 0.1 percent, respectively, while Suzuki Motor and Nissan rebounded more than 2 percent each.
Construction and mining equipment maker Komatsu extended losses to drop nearly 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, airbag manufacturer Takata's chief executive broke his silence on Thursday and apologized after months of avoiding the spotlight. Shares of the company, which made faulty airbags that triggered the largest recall in automotive history, edged up 0.2 percent.
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ASX skids 1.5%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index finished the week at a one-week low amid a broad-based selldown.
Market bellwether BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals plunged 3.5 and 6.1 percent, respectively, after iron ore prices slipped to $61.30 a tonne overnight. Energy plays also suffered heavy declines, with Santos and Woodside Petroleum shaving off more than 2 percent each.
Financials also came under selling pressure. Among the four major lenders, Australia and New Zealand Banking and National Australia Bank plummeted more than 1 percent each.
Bradken widened losses to more than 10 percent after announcing that it received a merger approach from a unit of Chile's Sigdo Kippers.
Shares of Qantas ended down 3.7 percent on news that the Hong Kong Air Transport Licencing Authority (ATLA) rejected the national carrier's application to start a new budget airline.
Outperforming the bourse, Woolworths surged 3.8 percent on speculation that it could be a takeover target.
Kospi adds 0.3%
South Korea's key Kospi index reversed a disappointing open to touch its peak in more than 3 weeks, thanks to a rebound in index heavyweights.
Samsung Electronics retraced some of the ground lost Thursday, bouncing up 0.7 percent, while Hyundai Motor piled on 2.3 percent.
Snack maker Orion tumbled 7.8 percent following its announcement that it submitted a preliminary bid on Wednesday for Homeplus, British retailer Tesco's South Korean unit. Chipmaker SK Hynix closed down over 2 percent after rival Micron Technology posted a miss in third-quarter profit and revenue.