Asian stocks up on Greek deal hopes

<p>The country is moving closer to a bailout deal with its creditors.</p>

Asian shares traded higher today (June 24th), with Japan's Nikkei reaching an 18-year high, as hopes for a bailout deal between Greece and its creditors rose.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has presented a new set of austerity proposals, with European leaders giving Greece’s government 48 hours to make the final push needed to satisfy creditors.

"They’ve got a short-term resolution," Mark Lister, Wellington-based head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners Ltd., told Bloomberg. "We head for the edge, all the brinkmanship plays out, then there’s a deal at the last minute and there’s a relief rally. Then we do it all again for the next deadline. That will continue to be the way things work until you hit breaking point."

Investors also focused on the timing of an US interest rates hike, with Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell saying yesterday that he expects the US central bank to begin raising its benchmark interest rate in September, with a second rate rise coming in December, AP reports.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 per cent to 20,868.03, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2 per cent to 2,085.53 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.2 per cent to 27,398.28.

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