The bears come out
A man walks past a stock quotation board displaying the Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo on 5 June, 2013.

Most Asian markets opened lower on Friday ahead of the release of May employment numbers by the US. Investors eagerly await nonfarm payrolls data from the US for hints as to when the Federal Reserve would either roll back, or prune its massive monthly asset buys.

The Nikkei shed 0.35% or 45.36 points to 12858.66, dropping three days in a row now, partly because of a stronger yen that pulled down exporters' stocks.

Australia's S&P/ASX shed 0.59% or 28.80 points to 4752.40 on concerns about the country's economic trajectory. The government reported lower-than-expected first quarter growth figures on 5 June. Australia is suffering from lower demand for its commodities as it struggles to move away from mining-led growth.

The Hang Seng dropped 1.32% or 288.74 points to 21549.69 while China's Shanghai composite index shed 0.77% or 17.36 points to 2224.74.

South Korea's Kospi, closed on Thursday for the Memorial Day holiday, was down 1.40% on Friday.

On Wall Street, equities snapped a two-day losing streak and ended higher. The Dow added 0.5%, to end at 15,040.62. The S&P 500 index inched up 0.9% to end at 1,622.56, while the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.7% to finish at 3,424.05.

In Sydney, shares of Australia's largest gold producer Newcrest Mining tanked 8.9% after it announced it was writing down the value of its mines by up to 6bn Australian dollars ($5.7 bn) owing to rising costs, weaker gold prices, and a stronger local currency.

Airline stocks suffered following buyout rumours triggered by an Australian Financial Review report about Air New Zealand waiting for approvals to increase its stake in Virgin Australia to 26 %.

In Wellington, Air New Zealand added 2%. Virgin Australia Holdings fell 2.3%, while larger rival Qantas Airways shed 2.2%. Oil and gas major Santos inched up 0.2% after it reported a new gas discovery in Australia's Browse Basin.

In Japan, shares of consumer electronics gian Toshiba dropped 4.9%. Automobile maker Mazda Motor fell 4.3% while rival Toyota Motor was down 2.5%. The US dollar was trading at ¥96.63 at 2:32pm Japanese time.

In Hong Kong, China Coal Energy moved up 1.6% while insurer AIA Group inched up 0.8%. Index heavyweight HSBC Holdings shed 0.9%.

In Shanghai, realty and automobile stocks bounced back on Friday. Poly Real Estate Group inched up 0.6%. Shares of Great Wall Motor moved up 2.1% while rival SAIC Motor gained 0.9%.