The world financial crisis has yet to land a ruinous blow to the art market, with Sotheby's auctioning off nearly 140 lots for more than HK$70 million. Auction houses have expected the financial uncertainty to cause price fluctuations but they also noted particular genres that were 'hot' at the moment. Out of the 163 lots offered at yesterday's auction of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian paintings, 139 lots were sold, fetching a total of HK$71.5 million. The top seller was German artist Walter Spies' Javanese Returning Home, 1924, which sold for HK$9.38 million, exceeding the estimate of HK$7.5 million. The second-best seller of the day was the picture of bloodied boxers The Man From Bantul (The Final Round) by Indonesian I Nyoman Masriadi, which fetched HK$7.8 million, far exceeding the high estimate of HK$1.5 million and a record for the artist at auction. 'Not all genres currently have a high international appeal, for example 20th century Chinese art, because of their cultural subject matter featured in those works. It takes time to build up the interest,' a Sotheby's spokesman said. At Sunday's auction, 71 out of 110 lots of the 20th century Chinese art went unsold. 'On Saturday's evening sales, however, some of the estimates of the items were over aggressive,' the spokesman said. Nevertheless, despite yesterday's satisfactory results, the worry brought by the global financial turmoil has yet to fade. Seoul Auction, which is having its inaugural international sale today at the Grand Hyatt featuring works by such groundbreakers as Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol, declined to comment on expectations about the sale. Ken Yeh, deputy chairman for Asia at Christie's, which is having its autumn auction between November 29 and December 3, said the economic woes meant buyers were likely to be more conservative and stick to the original prices they had set, and estimated prices should be set on a more conservative level. 'If the estimates are too aggressive, people will stay away,' Mr Yeh said. 'Works of mediocre quality but very high estimates are likely to be affected.' But he declined to say whether Christie's would lower estimates on items at the coming sale in the city. He insisted that making conservative estimates had always been Christie's practice. 'We are still very confident,' he said.