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Asian shares down on Greece worries

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 30 Dec 2014, 00:15 ET

Nikkei 225 one month chart

Asian shares traded lower as political uncertainty in Greece and a selloff in commodities weighed on investors’ appetite.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to get enough support for his presidential nominee on Monday and will call an election for 25 January.

The price of copper also fell to its lowest in four and a half years on a strong dollar and a slowdown in China.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.7% to 17,609.35 on its last trading day this year.

Japanese markets will be shut for the reminder of this week and will reopen next Monday.

The dollar, supported by its strength against the euro, was at 120.64 yen after gaining 0.3% overnight.

Hong Kong defies downtrend

Bucking the trend, Hong Kong shares opened higher with the Hang Seng index up 0.3% at 23,853.13.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.2% to 3,160.8 as investors took profits after its recent rally.

In Australia, the benchmark SP/ASX 200 was down 0.7% at 5,434.1 after ending in positive territory on Monday.

Shares of heavyweight miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were both down about 0.7% on falling commodity prices.

South Korean shares were lower despite economic data showing signs of the economy picking up.

The country’s industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.3% in November from October, just beating expectations and marking its fastest rise in four months.

Meanwhile, its current account surplus was also up to a seasonally adjusted $9.73bn (£6.2bn) in November – its highest in seven months.

But, the benchmark Kospi was down 0.5% to 1,918.81 points.

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