Asia markets mostly up on Greece hopes

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Pedestrians pass before a share price  board in Tokyo on Monday. Japan’s share prices rose 161.07 points to close at 20,335.31 points at the morning session of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as Greece presented its creditors with new proposals to reform its bailout, fueling hopes it will avert a default and a possible exit from the Eurozone. AFP PHoto

Pedestrians pass before a share price board in Tokyo on Monday. Japan’s share prices rose 161.07 points to close at 20,335.31 points at the morning session of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as Greece presented its creditors with new proposals to reform its bailout, fueling hopes it will avert a default and a possible exit from the Eurozone. AFP PHoto

HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose on Monday after Greece gave creditors new proposals on reforming its bailout, fuelling hopes of averting a default and possible exit from the eurozone.

The euro also advanced after Brussels said it had received the plans a day before a emergency European summit Monday, with the office of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calling it a “mutually beneficial deal.”

Tokyo rallied 1.26 percent, or 253.95 points, to 20,428.19 and Seoul gained 0.40 percent, or 8.20 points to 2,055.16, while Sydney reversed early losses to add 0.24 percent, or 13.20 points, to 5,610.20.

Hong Kong jumped 1.20 percent, or 320.32 points, to 27,080.85.
Shanghai was closed for a public holiday.


The news also sent European shares soaring in early trade. Athens surged more than seven percent, Germany and Paris each jumped more than three percent and London was up 1.40 percent.

While it is not clear what concessions have been offered, Martin Selmayr, the head of the cabinet of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said the Athens proposal offered “a good basis for progress.”

However, he underscored the tumult surrounding the deal by describing the negotiations as a “forceps delivery”.

The plans were submitted after Tsipras held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Juncker.

Analysts said the move was cheered in Asian trading rooms. “Originally there wasn’t going to be one, so the fact that there’s a new proposal on the table appears to be seen favorably,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

The euro strengthened, buying $1.1393 and 139.95 yen in the afternoon compared with $1.1349 and 139.23 yen in New York late Friday. The dollar was at 122.83 yen against 122.69 yen in US trade.

The heads of the 19 eurozone countries will hold an emergency summit in Brussels later Monday, under pressure to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt.

‘Quality work’
If the two sides are unable to agree a deal, Greece will likely default on an IMF debt payment of around 1.5 billion euros due on June 30, leading to the possibility of it crashing out of the eurozone.

Greece said its new proposals were aimed at reaching a “definitive solution” to end the standoff with creditors.

“It is difficult to forecast how the summit will turn out but it seems there is no small deal of optimism in markets that they will come to an agreement in the end,” Shinya Harui, a Europe-focused financial markets analyst at Nomura Securities in Tokyo, told Agence France-Presse.

On Monday morning France’s finance minister Michel Sapin hailed the “quality” work around Athens’ latest proposals. He told French radio: “I see the work that has been done. It is quality work,” adding that talks were proceeding in “good conditions.”

EU economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the fate of Greece and the euro would “largely be decided” Monday, adding that he believed a deal could be reached.

AFP

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