HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as dealers cautiously await a crucial bond auction in Spain, while Wall Street provided a soft lead after falling on disappointing corporate earnings.
A report in Chinese state media that the central bank would boost liquidity in the nation's giant economy provided support.
Tokyo slipped 0.57 percent by the break as official figures showed Japan had posted a record trade deficit in the past fiscal year, while Hong Kong rose 0.30 percent, Sydney was 0.35 percent higher, and Shanghai and Seoul were flat.
With the eurozone debt crisis back in focus, investors are looking to a sale of Spain's benchmark 10-year government bonds later in the day for an indication of market confidence in the under-pressure country.
Asia rallied on Wednesday after Madrid successfully sold 12- and 18-month debt, albeit at a higher rate.
"There will be a lot of attention on tonight's Spanish 10-year bond auction and the result will give a good indication on how the market will perform in the next few days," said Miguel Audencial, sales trader at CMC Markets.
"There is potentially a good upside if yields are low. However if Spain's cost of debt breaches the six-percent barrier" a selloff in commodities and shares is likely, Audencial said in a note, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Investors are also looking ahead to a G20 meeting on Thursday and Friday that will discuss boosting the International Monetary Fund's debt-crisis war chest to $500 billion. (AFP)