Asian shares slipped on Wednesday, hurt by fears that Spain's banking woes will push up the country's borrowing costs to unsustainable levels although falls were limited on hopes that Greece would stay in the euro zone and for China stimulus steps.
The euro also eased, with selling prompted by a rating cut of Spain's credit to B from BB-minus by Egan-Jones Ratings, the third downgrade from the agency in less than a month.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%, while Japan's Nikkei average opened down 0.2%.
Major US stock indices and European shares had closed higher on Tuesday.
"The relative stability in asset markets largely reflects the lack of any real news on the key risks in Greece and the peripheral euro area," Barclays Capital analysts said in a note.
"We would view any relief in asset markets as fleeting, however, with uncertainty likely to remain high as Greeks head to the polls and with the issue of credible bank recapitalizations in the euro area still unresolved," they said.
Greece's pro-bailout conservatives are leading ahead of a national parliamentary election on June 17 that may determine whether the country remains in the euro zone, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday.
The euro eased 0.2% to $1.2479 on Wednesday, hovering near its 23-month low of $1.2461 reached on Tuesday, when it also touched a four-month low against the yen of 98.94 yen.
The euro's plight hoisted the dollar index, measured against a basket of major currencies, to its highest since September 2010 of 82.61 on Tuesday, helping to drag down dollar-sensitive commodities. A weaker euro suppressed gold, which fell 1% on Tuesday.
The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index fell 0.8% to 279.74 on Tuesday, after touching a 20-month low of 279.49.
In Spain, new bonds will soon be issued to fund ailing lenders and indebted regions, fuelling fears the country's refinancing stresses could spin out of control and push its borrowing costs beyond the 7% level seen as unsustainable.
Sovereign debt yields exceeding that level have prompted other troubled euro zone economies to seek a global bailout.
The European Commission will set out its economic strategy for the euro zone on Wednesday, spelling out measures to balance growth with unpopular fiscal consolidation that will be particularly pointed for Spain and Italy.
Investors are looking for fresh catalysts to provide direction at least for the near-term as they wait for Greece's election.
One possible catalyst is US May jobs data due on Friday, which will help investors gauge the strength of the US economic recovery. Employers are expected to have added 150,000 new workers to their payrolls, according to a Reuters survey, after adding 115,000 in April, the fewest in six months.
China's official manufacturing data is also due on Friday.
US crude futures eased 0.1% at $90.71 a barrel, while Brent futures also eased 0.1% at $106.63 a barrel.
Asian credit markets were stable, with the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index barely changed from Tuesday.