HONG KONG: Asian markets came under pressure on Friday as a successful bond auction in Spain failed to raise spirits while weak US economic data also added to the general sense of pessimism.
Tokyo fell 0.35 percent by the break, Hong Kong shed 0.39 percent, Sydney slipped 0.12 percent, Seoul tumbled 1.27 percent and Shanghai was flat.
Spain's Treasury on Thursday raised a higher-than-expected 2.541 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in its issue of two- and 10-year bonds at rates below the key six percent that raises alarm bells for investors.
The results came after Madrid on Tuesday enjoyed an above-target auction of 12- and 18-month bonds.
With the eurozone debt crisis returning to the fore the focus is now on Spain -- with a gaping public deficit and unemployment above 20 percent -- with fears it could follow Greece, Portugal and Ireland into asking for a bailout.
The auction came as world finance leaders began a two-day meeting in Washington that will discuss bolstering an International Monetary Fund (IMF) firewall against future crises like that of Greece last year.
Earlier this week, Japan said it would pledge $60 billion after IMF chief Christine Lagarde called for a global effort to raise $500 billion.
Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland are among the nations that have since pledged billions of dollars. (AFP)