Asian stocks edge down on interest rates worries

<p>Investors focused on the timing of a US Fed rate hike.</p>

Asian stocks edged down today (July 20th) as investors' focus moved from Greece's debt crisis to the US Federal Reserve, with speculation rife on the timing of an interest rates hike.

A recent string of solid US data and an improvement across global markets have fuelled expectations that the Fed could start to normalise rates this year.

Investors welcomed the news that German lawmakers approved a third bailout plan on Friday. The European Union said it would get Athens enough money for it to keep making its debt payments. Greek Banks have re-opened today.

"For now, with an agreement on the cards and Greece currently adhering to creditors' demands, it appears markets can move on and focus on other things," analysts at ANZ told Reuters.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.4 per cent to 3,940.50 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2 per cent to 25,354.70. Seoul's Kospi ended 0.2 per cent lower at 2,071.87 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 per cent to 5,675.20. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

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