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Asian shares subdued on Greece talks

BRUSSELS: Asian shares experienced mixed fortunes as markets remained nervous over the prospects for a deal on Greece’s debts.
On Monday, eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels to discuss the final €7.2bn tranche of Greece’s €240bn EU/IMF bailout.
Ministers said Greece had made “progress”, but more work was needed before funds would be released.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed flat at 19,624.84, erasing earlier losses.
But, shares of Sharp rebounded 11% after having plunged 26% on Monday on worries over a possible financial restructuring.
In China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8% to 4,366.31, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.4% at 27,616.37.
In Australia, shares closed higher, but many investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the federal budget due later on Tuesday.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.9% at 5,674.7.
With Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott facing growing pressure to call early elections, the conservative government is expected to take a more cautious approach in its second budget.
Shares of Qantas rose 7% after the airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline was on track to resume paying dividends for the first time since 2009.
In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed flat at 2,096.77.

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