Japan's Nikkei stock edged down 0.1 percent on Friday as defensive shares fought off pressure from exporters hit by a stronger yen, with Fanuc and a handful of other high tech shares up on short covering.

Worries about U.S. debt levels grew after a credit agency warned Britain's rating could be cut, taking the dollar briefly down below 94 yen.

The benchmark Nikkei shed 7.35 points to 9,256.80 after earlier falling as much as 1.5 percent, while the broader Topix lost 0.4 percent to 878.02.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies)