Nikkei dips 0.2%
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fluctuated between modest gains and losses throughout Friday, as traders looked ahead to the key events next week.
"Japanese markets are intimately focused on the outcome of two major central bank meetings: The Fed and the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) at the end of October. If the Fed fails to hike next week, the yen looks set for noticeable strengthening. However, the decline of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) amid a slew of other weakening data appears to be resetting the calculus for the BOJ," IG market analyst Angus Nicholson wrote in a note.
Blue-chip exporters including Toyota Motor slumped 1.4 percent, while Toshiba doubled losses to 3.2 percent after the Nikkei business daily said that reported that Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) is preparing to launch an investigation into accounting irregularities at the troubled conglomerate.
Index heavyweights witnessed choppy trade; SoftBank meandered between gains and losses, and eventually finished 0.6 percent lower. Fast Retailing erased early declines to rebound 1.5 percent, but Fanuc closed down 2.8 percent.
Financials saw a pick-up in buying interest, after being sold-off intensively in the previous session. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group advanced 1.1 and 0.9 percent respectively, while Nomura Holdings rallied 1.3 percent.
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Shanghai Comp flat
China's Shanghai Composite index recouped losses to close up 0.08 percent at the end of a wildly volatile week.
Other major indexes in the country mirrored the choppy movements in the benchmark index. The CSI300 Index — which tracks the country's largest publicly traded companies — shed 0.3 percent, while the Shenzhen Composite changed course to end up 0.6 percent.
Trading has been relatively calm on Friday, as investors await the raft of economic indicators scheduled for release over the weekend for more clues to the health of China's economy.
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Retail sales in the mainland is seen holding steady in August at 10.5 percent, according to a Reuters poll, while industrial output is expected to have gained some traction, rising 6.4 percent on year in August, from 6.0 percent in July.
"Industrial production will probably continue to soften especially in industries such as construction where the housing market is impacting," Emily Dabbs, economist at Moody's Analytics, told CNBC.
Fixed asset investment is forecast to have decelerated to 11.1 percent in the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2014, compared with 11.2 percent in January-July, the Reuters poll showed.