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Asia: Stocks rise for third day as yen weakness buoys Japan

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[SYDNEY] Asian stocks rose for a third day, following gains in Europe and America, with a weaker yen buoying equities in Tokyo as investors awaited developments in Greece and US jobs data.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 per cent to 146.69 as of 9.01 am in Tokyo. Japan's Topix index advanced one per cent after the yen slid 0.5 per cent on Wednesday. Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index gained 3.3 per cent after Chinese securities regulators relaxed margin-trading rules and cut equity- transaction fees in their latest attempts to prevent its bear market from deepening.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.7 per cent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1.5 per cent after two days of declines as Greece signaled it was ready to compromise on ending a standoff over bailout aid. The bid was rejected by euro-area leaders, who have said they won't hold talks until after Sunday's referendum on creditors' demands.

"There has to be a negotiated deal there and I think the market believes there will be at the end of the day despite the drama," Michael Cuggino, a fund manager at Pacific Heights Asset Management LLC in San Francisco, told Bloomberg TV. "Corporate earnings in the second quarter along with the labor data will give us an indication as to what we're going to see going forward." Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed and South Korea's Kospi index rose 0.4 per cent. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index advanced 0.2 per cent. Hong Kong's market reopens Thursday after a holiday.

China Futures FTSE China A50 Index futures trading in Singapore gained after the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it will no longer require brokerages to force the sale of stock held by clients with insufficient collateral, and will allow "reasonable rollover" in margin trading. China's two bourses will reduce the fees by 30 per cent starting Aug. 1, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said.

Chinese stocks have been on a rollercoaster over the last two weeks with investors torn between hefty valuations and the government's efforts to prop up the market.

In the US, companies added 237,000 workers in June, the most in six months, data from Automatic Data Processing Inc showed Wednesday. A separate report showed manufacturing expanded in June at the fastest pace in five months, indicating domestic demand is allowing American factories to withstand sluggish overseas economies.

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 were little changed on Thursday.

BLOOMBERG