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Asian stocks marked by uncertainty

Asian stock markets have struggled for direction, with investors unconvinced that the world's major economies nailed a solution to the European debt crisis following a summit in Washington.

Markets fell or posted muted gains worries about the economic future of Greece and whether it would exit the 17-country euro currency union kept traders on edge.

A weekend summit in Washington among leaders of the world's most powerful nations provided little in the way of encouragement for investors already nervous about slowing growth in China and fears that turmoil in Europe could hit key export industries.

Leaders of the G-8 countries issued a statement calling for both painful cutbacks and growth-promoting measures to deal with a crisis that threatens the global economy. But actual steps were left up to individual countries to take.

"Although G8 leaders made plenty of noises about combating the crisis and shifting focus towards growth, there was as usual little concrete news in terms of how they would do this," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in an email.

However, sharp sell-offs last week presented bargain-hunting opportunities. Japan's Nikkei 225 index came off four-month lows to rise 0.3% at 8.633.94.

Australia's S&P/ASX rose 0.2% to 4,055.90. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.2% at 18,919.3. Singapore and Indonesia also fell.


From Belfast Telegraph