ASX plunges 2.4%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index crashed to its lowest level since July 14 amid a broad-based meltdown.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group plummeted 7.5 percent, as investors reacted to Thursday's news of raising $2.2 billion through a share placement. Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank extended sharp losses into a second straight session, slumping more than 3 percent each, as investors anticipated they will be required to do the same.
Gold producers also tumbled, with Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining losing more than 2 percent each, as gold remained on track to stretch its weekly losses to a seventh week.
Rio Tinto also succumbed to the selling pressure, ending down 0.5 percent. The stock notched up modestly earlier in the session, tracking a modest rise of 0.2 percent in its London-listed shares after announcing a 43 percent slide in first-half underlying profit to $2.9 billion, beating consensus of $2.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) softened its economic outlook for 2016, according to its 72-page quarterly report.
Nikkei adds 0.3%
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up on the back of hefty buy orders for the likes of SoftBank, paring earlier losses.
The telecommunications and internet giant rallied 3.6 percent after announcing a near $1 billion share buyback and a higher quarterly profit as loss-making Sprint fared better than expected.
Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. got a boost from strong quarterly earnings, up 2.3 percent, while Nikon climbed 4.7 percent after the camera and imaging firm raised its operating profit guidance for the financial year ending March 2016.
Among losers, Olympus, Konica Minolta and Rakuten fell between 2.1 and 8.5 percent, following weak quarterly report cards. Takata Corp ended up 0.6 percent on the back of news that the air bag manufacturer, who is caught in the middle of global recall, swung to a net profit in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept its massive monetary stimulus program steady at the end of its monthly two-day policy meeting, and maintained its upbeat assessment of the economy on Friday. The decision was largely in line with expectations thus markets showed little reaction following the announcement.