ASX adds 0.3%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index finished modestly higher after swinging between gains and losses all day long.
The day's gainers included market bellwether BHP Billiton, which elevated 1.5 percent. Other iron ore miners Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals climbed 1 and 2 percent, respectively.
Financial shares were choppy on Friday; Macquarie Group erased early gains to close down 0.1 percent. Westpac, National Australia Bank and Australia and New Zealand Banking closed down between 0.4 and 0.8 percent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia edged up 0.3 percent in late-day trading.
In the currency space, persistent worries about the health of China's economy pushed the Australian dollar below 70 U.S. cents, hitting a six-and-a-half-year low.
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Kospi loses 1.5%
South Korea's Kospi index slid deeper into the red, following the deterioration in trading sentiment across the region.
Among tech names which outperformed the bourse earlier on, Samsung Electronics trimmed gains to 0.6 percent. LG Display and Samsung SDI bounced up 3.1 and 1.4 percent respectively, but chipmaker SK Hynix surrendered gains to close down 1.6 percent.
Carmakers were among the biggest laggards, with Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors down 1.3 and 0.9 percent, respectively. Shares of cosmetics makers remain under pressure; AmorePacific and LG Household & Healthcare slid 3.9 and 1.9 percent, respectively.
Outperforming the bourse, the country's largest logistics CJ Korea Express Corp. surged 1.7 percent after it said it was in final talks to acquire China's Rokin Logistics.
Hang Seng drops 0.4%
Hong Kong's key Hang Seng index closed down as investors took advantage of the resumption of trade in Hong Kong to sell the shares of mainland-listed companies listed offshore. In particular, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index tumbled 1.4 percent, making it one of the worst performers in the region.
On the domestic data front, the Nikkei Hong Kong purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a six-year low of 44.4 in August, from 48.2 in July, underscoring a slowdown in the city's private sector economy. The latest PMI figure also marked a contraction for the sixth consecutive month.
Hong Kong markets were closed on Thursday, as China commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Meanwhile, China's stock market reopens on Monday.