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Jun 22, 2015 11:39 PM

Asian stocks rise following US gains, Greek optimism

The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) Asian stocks rose Tuesday following U.S. advances and optimism over Greek debt talks.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.6 percent to 20.758.68 points and Seoul's Kospi gained 1.3 percent to 2,082.50. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent to 4,455.97. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 gained 1.3 percent to 5,680.90 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.3 percent at 27,190.87. Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia also rose, while New Zealand, Jakarta and Manila fell. On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both gained 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite added 0.7 percent.

WALL STREET GAINS: U.S. stocks gained on deal news in health care and energy. Health insurer Anthem announced a $47 billion bid to acquire competitor Cigna. Cigna rejected the bid as inadequate. Shares in Williams Cos. rose 26 percent after a $48 billion buyout offer from Energy Transfer Equity. Williams rejected that but said it might put itself up for sale.

GREEK DEBT TALKS: Greece offered economic reforms that its European creditors consider closer to being acceptable. At a meeting Monday, leaders of the 19 nations that use the euro currency said the offer by the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras might form a basis to break a four-month deadlock. The Greek stock market surged by 9 percent. Still, the two sides failed to reach a deal that might get Athens new loans at a time when its reserves of cash are running low.

ANALYST'S TAKE: European leaders are "discussing tactics, ploys, tricks and other ruses to avoid a hard default by Greece," said Carl B. Weinberg of High Frequency Economics in a report. "What is not addressed in any way is the longer term uncomfortable truth that Greece cannot service the debt that it has undertaken."

CHINESE MANUFACTURING REBOUNDS: A survey by HSBC Corp. found Chinese manufacturing improved in June but still was contracting. Output and new orders rose and improved export orders suggested foreign demand might be recovering. That suggests the economy "has started to find its footing" following a long decline in activity, said Capital Economics in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 23 cents to $60.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 41 cents on Monday to close at $60.38. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 15 cents to $63.19 after adding 32 cents the previous session to $63.34.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 123.74 yen from Monday's 123.39 yen. The euro declined to $1.12 from the previous session's $1.13.


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