Asian equities tracked a mild bounce on Wall Street to edge higher on Wednesday, although caution over talks later in the day in the ongoing Greek debt saga limited gains. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.9 percent, given an extra lift by a weaker yen and Australian shares gained 0.4 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was steady.
U.S. shares gained modestly overnight, with the S&P 500 touching another record high, after hopes that Greece will make on an agreement on emergency loans sharpened risk appetite that was dulled by Monday’s collapse in negotiations. Risk appetite, tinged by optimism on Greece, hurt U.S. Treasuries and sent the benchmark 10-year note’s yield to a seven-week high, which in turn boosted the dollar versus the yen.
The dollar was steady at 119.21 yen JPY= after jumping from a low of 118.235 overnight. The euro was little changed at $1.1402 EUR= after gaining 0.4 percent the previous day on Greek optimism. Greece will remain an immediate concern for the financial markets as the European Central Bank decides later in the day whether to maintain emergency lending to Greek banks which have lost deposits at an unnerving rate.