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Greece bailout hopes lift Asian markets

Greece bailout talks involve a second rescue package roughly the size of the first. But Greece bailout could be delayed until July.

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Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses the Parliament in Athens June 19, 2011. Opening a three-day parliamentary debate that will culminate in a confidence vote late Tuesday, Mr. Papandreou blamed Greece's bloated state sector for bringing the country to its knees and has vowed to effect deep changes. Hopes for a second Greece bailout buoyed Asian markets.

Dimitri Messinis/AP

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HONG KONG – Asian stocks were mostly higher on hopes that a solution to Greece's debt problems could be near even as talks between eurozone finance ministers broke up early Monday without an agreement.

Oil slipped below $93 a barrel while the dollar strengthened against the euro and yen.

Global stock markets were hammered for most of last week by fears that a default by Greece seemed imminent before rising Friday as hopes grew for a bailout deal. Investors fear a Greek default could set off a domino effect with other weak European economies.

Greece's prime minister confirmed Sunday his nation was talking with world lenders about a second financial rescue package "roughly equal" to what it received last year. Meanwhile, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, chair of the regular meetings of the 17 eurozone finance ministers, said Greece will get the next €12 billion of its existing €110 billion bailout package in early July, but only if it manages to pass new spending cuts and economic reforms by the end of the month.

But he said as long as parliament supports the new measures, he was certain that there would be a second Greece bailout that would keep it afloat over the coming years as it works to restore its struggling economy.

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