Asian shares mixed after China housing data

<p>China’s new home prices extended their downtrend in April.</p>

Asian markets started the week on a mixed note today (May 18th) after the release of data that showed further declines in China's house prices.

China's new home prices extended their downtrend in April, falling in 48 of 70 top cities with average prices dropping for the eighth straight month on a year-over-year basis, according to calculations by The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, uncertainty over Greece's future in the euro zone hampered sentiment. "Greece will be front and centre this week as the country looks to secure a deal with its creditors while avoiding harsh austerity. The government reinforced it won't back down on its election promise to end austerity but this is likely to be a lot harder than they are leading on," Stan Shamu, IG's market strategist, wrote in a note seen by CNBC.

Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.8 per cent to 19890.27 and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.3 per cent to 2113.72. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.8 per cent to 27591.25, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.3 per cent to 5659.17 and the Shanghai Composite index closed 0.6 per cent down to finish at 4283.23.

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