Early on Friday, the Bank of Japan reported that its Tankan survey showed a fall in its sentiment index for large manufacturers to minus 12 in the fourth quarter from minus 3 in the third quarter.
Economic data for the rest of the day were better though.
The flash HSBC China manufacturing PMI rose to 50.9 in December from 50.5 in November.
Markit's composite index for the euro area rose to 47.3 in December from 46.5 in November. The services index rose to 47.8 from 46.7 while the manufacturing index rose to 46.3 from 46.2.
Inflation in the euro area fell to 2.2 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October.
The stream of better data continued with US reports. Industrial production rebounded strongly by 1.1 percent in November after having fallen 0.7 percent in October as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Markit's US manufacturing PMI jumped to 54.2 in December from 52.8 in November.
Meanwhile, consumer prices in the US fell 0.2 percent in November.