HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed in limited holiday trade on Friday amid renewed eurozone debt fears as attention turned to Spain's finances after a weak bond auction earlier in the week.
With most of the region's bourses closed for the Easter break investors had an eye on the United States where key jobs data will give an indication to the state of the world's number one economy.
Tokyo fell 0.70 percent by the break, Seoul and Shanghai were flat, and Taipei added 0.77 percent.
Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Wellington, Mumbai, Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok were all closed. Oil markets were also closed.
Fears for Spain have grown since its borrowing costs soared Wednesday in its first debt auction since an austerity budget last week, fuelling concern of a repeat of Greece's strife last year when it narrowly avoided a messy default.
Madrid is racing to slash its public deficit to reassure markets that it will not follow Greece -- as well as Ireland and Portugal -- in needing a bailout after it missed its deficit target last year.
The renewed doubts saw the difference between the yield on Spanish bonds and the benchmark debt issued by Germany widen to levels last seen in December.
The pessimism has hit the euro, which has tumbled against the dollar and yen in the past week.
In early Asian trade it bought $1.3064 and 107.58 yen, compared with $1.3057 and 107.52 yen in New York late Thursday. That compares with levels around $1.3350 and 110.50 yen last week.
The dollar was changing hands at 82.36 yen, from 81.84 yen.
On Wall Street markets were mixed, despite figures showing another fall in initial jobless claims, which hit 357,000 in the week ending March 31, their lowest level since April 2008.
The Dow shed 0.11 percent, while the Nasdaq rose 0.40 percent and the S&P 500 was flat.
Closely watched non-farm payrolls figures are due to be released by the Labor Department later Friday, with investors hoping to see a continuation of recent strong figures that have pointed to a strengthening economy.
Gold was at $1,630.20 an ounce at 0200 GMT, compared with $1,620.90 late Thursday. (AFP)