Asian shares, euro rise on Greek debt deal


The euro hit a one-month high, commodities rose and Asian shares climbed for a seventh consecutive day on Tuesday as global lenders reached a deal on new debt targets for Greece and a political agreement on disbursing the next installment of aid.

European shares will likely track Asian peers higher, with financial spreadbetters predicting London's FTSE 100 , Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX to open as much as 0.7 percent higher.

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U.S. stock futures were up 0.3 percent, hinting at a firm Wall Street open.

After 12 hours of talks at their third meeting in as many weeks, Greece's international lenders agreed on a package of measures to cut Greek debt to 124 percent of gross domestic product by 2020, and pledged to take further steps to lower the debt below 110 percent of GDP in 2022.

Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said ministers would formally approve the release of crucial aid for debt-stricken Greece, removing uncertainty over whether Athens could avoid a near-term bankruptcy.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> gained 0.7 percent to a near three-week high, led by a 1 percent advance in Korean shares <.KS11> and a 0.7 percent rise in Australian shares . Indian shares also jumped 1.2 percent.

Shanghai shares bucked the trend to fell 1 percent to their lowest since 2009, dragged by weakness in growth-sensitive companies.

"Overhanging the market for a little while has been these macro concerns, so progress towards sorting the situation out gives room for the market to move higher," said Phillip Weinberg, director at BestEx.

Investors' focus is likely to shift now to another major concern hanging over markets, a looming U.S. fiscal crisis.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Monday called on President Barack Obama to detail long-term spending cuts to help solve the country's fiscal crisis, while holding firm against the income tax rate increases for the wealthy that Democrats seek.

"Now people will start focusing on the U.S. fiscal cliff and there could be some nervousness there, particularly if it drags on," said Burrell & Co dealer Jamie Elgar of Australian shares.

The euro gained as much as about 0.3 percent to $1.3010, its highest level since October 31, in reaction to the Greek news, before paring gains to be up 0.1 percent at $1.2982.

"The euro gained but the rise is small, and it's unlikely that it will climb further, with big funds winding down their positions ahead of the year-end. Any rise will be countered by selling to cap the euro's upside," said Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo.

He cautioned that the euro still faced downside risks as the latest agreement does not offer a fundamental resolution to the euro zone's debt crisis.

"While the Eurogroup has set December 13 for formal approval of the disbursement, and Germany's planned parliamentary vote later this week will be watched with interest, for markets the deal should put Greece largely on the backburner for a couple of months before it starts missing its fiscal targets again," Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac bank in Sydney, said in a note.

He doubted if the euro's short-covering will produce sustained trade beyond $1.3050/$1.3100.

Japan's Nikkei stock average <.N225> rose 0.5 percent, just below Monday's seven-month closing high. The benchmark has climbed more than 8 percent in two weeks as the yen has weakened on expectations of easier monetary policy with the likely election of a new government.


The dollar inched up 0.2 percent against the yen to 82.22 yen. The euro rose 0.3 percent against the yen to 106.72.

Traders said some investors unwound long positions in the dollar built up in recent weeks on expectations the Bank of Japan would come under pressure for more aggressive easing.

The dollar eased 0.1 percent against a basket of key currencies , helping to underpin dollar-based commodities.

U.S. crude futures rose 0.3 percent to $88.03 a barrel and Brent was up 0.2 percent to $111.09.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent to $1,749.65 an ounce, just below a six-week high of $1,754.10 hit on Friday.

London copper hit a near one-month high of $7,821.50 a metric ton (1.1023 tons) as the Greek debt deal added to confidence over copper demand after recent positive data from its top consumer China.

Sentiment may be further underpinned by a report saying China has approved construction of two city subway projects worth 49 billion yuan ($7.87 billion), adding to the list of recent railway project approvals aimed at boosting growth in the world's second-biggest economy.

In another possible sign that the economy is regaining traction, China's industrial profits in October were up 20.5 percent from a year earlier, accelerating from 7.8 percent growth in September.

Asian credit markets firmed slightly, narrowing the spreads on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index by 1 basis point.

(Additional reporting by Victoria Thieberger in Melbourne; Editing by Edwina Gibbs & Kim Coghill)