Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Shares in Asia were trading higher on Wednesday as investors hoped a last-minute deal for Greece could be agreed.
Greece has missed the deadline for a €1.6bn ($1.72bn; £1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reports BBC.
But European ministers said they would discuss a fresh proposal from Greece for a new bailout programme.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 share index was up 0.11 per cent at 20,257.77in mid-morning trade.
In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.65 per cent at 5,494.30 points. South Korea’s benchmark Kospi was up 0.8 per cent at 2,090.77.
Greece is the first advanced country to fail to repay a loan to the IMF and is now formally in arrears – adding to fears it is at risk of leaving the euro.
Greece is set to vote in a snap referendum on Sunday over whether or not it should accept its creditors’ proposals and has been warned by EU leaders that a ‘no’ vote would mean leaving the euro.
Analyst Evan Lucas from IG Markets said Greece had “crossed into the great unknown” adding the ballot was “looming as a bigger market mover than Greece defaulting to the IMF”. He warned that if a ‘no’ vote transpired on the weekend, “Monday morning trade will be worse than Monday 29 June.”
Shares in Sony recovered slightly in Wednesday trading in Japan – after heavy losses in the previous session.
They were up about 1.7 per cent having closed down 8 per cent on Tuesday after plans were announced to raise billions of dollars in a sale of shares and convertible bonds.
Technology expert Andrew Milroy of research firm Frost and Sullivan told the BBC the share sale “was all about growing the firm’s highly profitable image sensor business”.
He said Sony’s image sensors were in Apple iPhones and that the firm aimed to get their sensors into “other smartphones in the market”.
Meanwhile, a fresh report from Japan’s central bank showed that confidence in the country’s big manufacturers had picked up in the three months to June to its highest level in a year. The closely-watched Tankan report also says optimism will keep growing – underlining the bank’s view that Japan’s economy is gathering momentum.
Meanwhile, official data from China showed that activity in the country’s large factories had remained flat in June from the month earlier.
The official factory purchasing manager’s index (PMI) registered 50.2 in June and in May. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
A private survey by HSBC, however, which measures activity in China’s smaller factories, showed PMI was 49.4 in June compared to 49.2 in May.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite was up 0.5 per cent in mid-morning trade at 4,299.51 points after several sessions of volatile trade.
Markets are closed in Hong Kong on Wednesday for a public holiday to mark the anniversary of the handover of the territory to China.