Asian equities came off the day's highs on Friday, after staging a rally earlier on in the session following an impressive lead from Wall Street.
Major U.S. averages rallied more than 1 percent overnight, thanks to a jump in financials and soft economic data that bolstered the case for a delay in the rise of U.S. interest rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) and S&P 500 (CME:Index and Options Market: .INX) recovered to close above the psychologically key levels of 17,000 and 2,000 respectively. The Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ: .IXIC) jumped 1.8 percent on Thursday.
Mainland stocks nudge up
Share markets in China narrowed advances late Friday, with the Shanghai Composite 0.6 percent higher.
The CSI300 Index also ticked up by the same margin, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite turned negative, down 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index charged up 0.5 percent.
Bucking the uptrend, Wynn Macau (Hong Kong Stock Exchange: 1128-HK) shares receded as much as 5 percent after the casino and hotel operator announced a fall in profit for the three months to September. Wynn attributed the decline in net income to a sharp slowdown at its Macau operations.
Nikkei up 1%
Japan's Nikkei 225 (Nihon Kenzai Shinbun: .N225) index extended gains amid a broad-based rise on Friday, thanks to fresh weakness in the yen (: OSEJPY=).
Blue-chip exporters such as Sony (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 6758.T-JP) and Canon (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 7751.T-JP) climbed 2.6 and 1.7 percent respectively, while automakers Toyota (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 7203.T-JP), Nissan (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 7201.T-JP) and Suzuki Motor (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 7269.T-JP) also attracted buy orders, up between 1.6 and 2.2 percent.
Suntory Beverage & Food (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 2587.T-JP) will unwind its joint venture with Tsingtao Brewery (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 600-SZ) amid stalling sales in the fiercely-competed Chinese market, the Nikkei business daily reported. Shares of the beverage conglomerate advanced 1.7 percent.
ASX rises 0.7%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 (ASX: .AXJO) index finished near its highest levels since August 28.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA-AU) and National Australia Bank (: ) rose 1.8 and 1.4 respectively, while Australia and New Zealand Banking (ASX: ANZ-AU) gained nearly 1 percent. The gains come despite the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) issuing a warning in its biannual Financial Stability Review that lending standards for home loans had been looser than first thought, adding to the risks of an eventual downturn in the housing market.
Aditya Birla Minerals soared 31 percent, thanks to a surprise takeover bid from Perth-based Metals X.
Rio Tinto (London Stock Exchange: RIO-GB) pared gains to slide 0.9 percent, after the global miner announced a 17 percent rise in third-quarter iron ore shipments to 91.3 million tonnes and said it remained on track to meet full-year guidance of 340 million tonnes. Shares of BHP Billiton (London Stock Exchange: BLT-GB) edged down 0.5 percent, tracking a fall in its U.S. ADR on the back of falling iron ore prices.
Kospi slips 0.2%
South Korea's Kospi index quickly changed course after a higher open, with heavyweight components among the biggest drags on the bourse.
Automakers were the worst-hit; Kia Motors (Korea Stock Exchange: 27-KR) tumbled 2.8 percent, while Hyundai Motor (Korea Stock Exchange: 538-KR) and Hyundai Mobis closed down 0.9 and 1.7 percent respectively. Ssangyong Motor (Korea Stock Exchange: 362-KR) skidded 1.6 percent.
The index's top weighted stock Samsung Electronics (Korea Stock Exchange: 593-KR) shed 0.3 percent.
Pharmaceuticals outperformed, with the sub-index widening gains to 2.6 percent. Hanmi Pharmaceutical was the top performer, up 7.2 percent.
Taiwan's weighted index was subdued on Friday, hurt by a slump in the shares of large-cap Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (Taiwan Stock Exchange: 2330-TW).
Shares of TSMC closed down 1.8 percent after the world's biggest contract chip maker reported its first quarterly earnings decline since 2012 on Thursday. TSMC also projected lower revenue for the fourth quarter and cut its capital spending estimate for this year.
In other news, Taiwan's Kuomintang may ditch its candidate Hung Hsiu-chu for January's presidential election this weekend. Party members and observers say the ruling party may use a party congress this weekend to draft in Kuomintang's chairman Eric Chu as a replacement for Hung, a former schoolteacher whose campaign has been riddled with gaffes and political attacks, Reuters reported.
Rest of Asia
Singapore's Straits Times (Singapore Exchange: .STI) index bounced up 0.4 percent after September non-oil exports unexpectedly rose from a year earlier.
The country's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) gained 0.3 percent on-year , beating expectations for a 3.6 percent decline. This unexpected rise comes on the back of an 8.4 percent slide in August and 0.7 percent slip in July.
"While the NODX data showed a month-on-month bounce, helped by a stronger rebound in exports to Japan, the global backdrop for exports remains difficult due to the slowdown in China and the weakness of global emerging markets," Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist for IHS Global Insight, wrote in a note issued early Friday.
Singapore narrowly averted a technical recession on Tuesday, when third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed the Southeast Asian economy expanded 0.1 percent on-quarter .
Meanwhile, Malaysia's benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange: .KLSE) added 0.2 percent on Friday.
September inflation data, originally scheduled for release at noon, were postponed to October 23, the Statistics Department said. No reasons were given for the delay.
A Reuters poll had forecast Malaysia's annual inflation rate to rise 3.0 percent last month, on the back of the goods and services tax introduced in April.
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