Asian stocks rise after Greek vote eases fears

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TOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets climbed early Monday after elections in Greece eased fears of global financial turmoil.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 2.1 percent, at 8,749.31. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.8 percent to 19,578.13. Australia's S&P/ASX200 rose 1.6 percent to 4,123.30. South Korea's Kospi rose 2.2 percent at 1,899.49 as relieved investors snapped up South Korean exporters.

Japanese vehicle makers soared on hopes that Europe, a huge export market, would avoid further economic troubles. Mazda Motor Corp. jumped 5 percent while Yamaha Motor Co. gained 4.8 percent.

Steelmakers and shipyards also gained ground. South Korea's top shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, rose 3.7 percent. Japan's JFE Holdings Inc. added 4.7 percent and Kobe Steel rose 4.4 percent.

Masahiro Yamaguchi, a manager at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo, said the perk in Tokyo stocks came from a sense of relief that the worst had been avoided in Greece.

"There's is a rebound simply because the risks are now reduced," he said.

But the rise in Tokyo stocks could be short-lived as Japanese issues were not directly at risk over what might happen in Greece, and the decline had been more based on risk fears, he said.

"There's a sense that, at least, things are OK for now. The solution is far from basic," he said.

In Greek elections Sunday, pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a joint government. That eased fears of an imminent Greek exit from the 17-nation euro currency union that could have had catastrophic consequences for other ailing European nations, the United States and the entire global economy.

The next two weeks could prove critical if any grand solution to the crisis is to be achieved. The leaders of the world's 20 largest economies gather Monday in Los Cabos, Mexico, for a summit, with Europe sure to be a major point of discussion.

And on June 28 and 29, leaders of the 27 member countries of the European Union will hold perhaps the most important meeting since the body was created two decades ago.

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