Asian stocks mostly lower as Greece deadline looms

<p>Chinese equities dropped after brokerages tightened margin lending rules.</p>

Asian stocks were mostly down today (May 28th) as investors focused on the Greek situation.

There are concerns that the Greek crisis could engulf Spain, as voters punished the ruling Popular Party in local elections after years of austerity policies. Investors are also weighing the possibility of a Greek default.

Greece might miss a debt payment on June 5th if it fails to receive bailout funds from creditors, who are demanding that the country make reforms to its economy.

"With the situation in Greece rapidly coming to a head and election results showing disenchantment with the status quo and the establishment across the continent, the pressure to reach a solution on Greece has grown rapidly," said Nicholas Teo, analyst with CMC in Singapore, in a market commentary seen by AP. "Developments on this front may continue to drive trading action in the coming days."

Chinese mainland markets were the biggest losers in the region, after brokerages tightened margin lending rules. The Shanghai Composite dropped 6.5 per cent to 4620.27. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2.2 per cent to 27454.31.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 per cent to 20551.46 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.2 per cent to 5713.09 while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1 per cent to 2110.89.

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