Asian Equities Expected Mixed on Greece and Ukraine

Asian markets will likely open mixed on Friday as the drama around Greece’s debt negotiations continues, but a sharply higher finish on Wall overnight could buoy sentiment amid firming oil prices and following a ceasefire agreement between Russia and Ukraine.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index jumped 1.1 percent in early trade, appear set to snap a four-session losing streak. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar added 0.2 percent to trade at $0.7744 to the dollar following the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens’ appearance before the House of Representatives’ standing committee.

Shares of Rio Tinto elevated 4.4 percent after reporting a 30 percent slide in second-half profit on Thursday, its worst half-year profit in two years. The world’s number 2 miner also said it would return $2 billion to shareholders through a buyback. Newcrest Mining underperformed the bourse, down 0.1 percent, despite delivering a 400 percent lift in first-half net profit.

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