Japanese stocks closed down on 14 August after Beijing strengthened the yuan slightly following three successive days of sharp devaluations in the currency.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set its daily rate for the yuan at 6.3975 per US dollar compared to the previous day's close of 6.3990, in line with the central bank's comments that there was no basis for a sustained depreciation in the value of the currency.

The Nikkei index slid 0.4% to close the week at 20,519.45 points.

In China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3% to 3,965.34 late in the session, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged down 0.2% to 23,982.55.

Analysts said the PBOC's steadying of the yuan had calmed the markets.

"Market sentiments are noticeably more composed today," IG market analyst Bernard Aw was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.

LGT Capital Partners global strategist Mikio Kumada told CNBC: "We think [the yuan devaluation] is part of China's policy adjustment amid a lower-growth environment and finding a balance between stimulating and over-stimulating its economy, because it still has problems such as credit misallocations.

"So for the time being, it's not a good time for China equities."

Elsewhere, Australian shares were down, with the S&P/ASX 200 index closing 0.6% lower at 5,356.54 points.

South Korean markets were closed ahead of a national holiday on 15 August.