Asian markets fell in morning trade Wednesday, following a decline on Wall Street and amid renewed scepticism over eurozone efforts to stem the debt crisis.
Tokyo was down 0.37 per cent, Hong Kong slipped 0.25 per cent and Seoul was off 0.36 per cent. Sydney was flat, slipping 0.05 per cent, as was Shanghai which edged down 0.03 per cent.
US stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday on concerns over American corporate earnings and a slump in confidence registered by a US small-business survey.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.65 per cent, while The S&P 500 fell 0.81 per cent and the tech-rich Nasdaq slipped 1.00 per cent.
Meanwhile, concerns over the eurozone overshadowed the bloc's deal Tuesday to help Spain with 30 billion euros ($37 billion) this month for its distressed banks and an extension to a deadline to cut its public deficit.
"There is a broad framework to deal with the crisis, but uncertainty remains over whether it will work," said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.
"Participants will likely maintain their wait-and-see approach over the European situation."
Rates of return on Spain's benchmark 10-year bonds eased Tuesday after the deal at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, slipping to 6.778 per cent, sharply lower than the danger level of 7.023 per cent at close the previous day.
But analysts remained sceptical, warning that European leaders may have once again done too little too late to convince the markets.
"There is really little here that will get Spanish yields to fall to any great degree and there remain questions over how quickly anything can be done in order to bring yields lower," said Derek Halpenny at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
Analysts are also concerned Germany's top court could delay ratification of a permanent eurozone rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, which is to be used to recapitalise Spanish banks, easing pressure on public bonds.
The constitutional court was expected to rule by the end of the month whether the president should be permitted under constitutional law to sign the legislation into law, but has hinted at a possible further delay.
On currency markets, the euro edged up to $1.2261 in Asian trade compared with $1.2251 in New York late Tuesday. It had dived to a new two-year dollar low in Tuesday European trade of $1.2235.
The common currency was at 97.27 yen, in line with 97.26 yen in New York. The dollar slipped to 79.31 yen against 79.41 yen.
Trade was slow Wednesday, with concerns about China also weighing on markets as investors awaited more key data later in the week, including second-quarter GDP, to gauge how fast the world's second-largest economy is slowing.
Oil prices rose on bargain-hunting. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, gained 28 cents to $84.19 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August rose 28 cents to $98.25.
Gold was worth 1574.60 an ounce at 0310 GMT, compared with $1,593.10 late Tuesday.