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Asia follows Wall St up, euro wobbles before Greek vote
[TOKYO] Asian stocks tip-toed higher on Monday, following fresh gains on Wall Street, while the euro wallowed near 28-month lows versus the dollar on nervousness ahead of a vote in the Greek parliament that could result in snap elections.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1 per cent.
Tokyo's Nikkei climbed 0.4 per cent and Australian shares rose 0.6 per cent.
The Dow and S&P 500 both closed at new record highs on Friday after a broad rally.
The euro stood little changed at US$1.2173, not far from its lowest since August 2012, at US$1.2165, hit the previous week.
Greece faces a vote in parliament later on Monday that will decide whether the country's leading coalition can gather enough votes to elect a president.
If it fails, markets are concerned it may trigger a snap election that could bring the leftwing opposition Syriza party to power and derail an international bailout.
Former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, the candidate for the leading coalition, needs to garner 180 votes in parliament to become president.
If Dimas is elected, the euro could bounce on relief as Greece can continue negotiations with its creditors, said Masafumi Yamamoto, a market strategist at Praevidentia Strategy in Tokyo. "On the other hand the euro could fall towards US$1.21 if the 180 votes are not secured, as the market will ponder the risk of the leftwing Syriza party, which is against fiscal reconstruction, taking power after a snap election next year,"he said.
The dollar was up 0.1 per cent at 120.420 yen, remaining in sight of a 7-1/2 year high of 121.86 hit earlier in the month, but lacking enough momentum to challenge that peak.
US crude oil rebounded on renewed tensions in Libya.
A fire caused by fighting at one of Libya's main export terminals has destroyed more than two days of the country's oil production, officials said on Sunday, as clashes escalated between factions battling for control of the OPEC member nation.
US crude rose 1.5 per cent to US$55.53 a barrel after shedding 2 per cent on Friday.