| Updated at: 1005 PST, Friday, June 24, 2011|
HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose Friday after Europe reached a deal to avoid a Greek debt default, but oil plays fell after the International Energy Agency released millions of barrels of crude reserves.
Greece, the EU and the IMF agreed early Friday on the final details of a 28 billion euros ($40 billion) savings plan that Athens needs to implement over the next five years in order to obtain cash to pay off its immediate debts.
The European Commission said the deal among international backers on the ground in Athens now has to be "translated into concrete legislative measures" by Greece.
However, investors are still nervous as they wait to see if Prime Minister George Papandreou can get his austerity measures though parliament next week.
Greek lawmakers must pass the bills before June is out, the European Union said.
Tokyo rose 0.28 percent by the break, Hong Kong 0.70 percent and Seoul added 0.75 percent, while Shanghai was 0.22 percent higher. Sydney was flat.
But energy firms were weighed after the IEA said it would release 60 million barrels of crude from its member countries' strategic reserves over the next month, which caused a sharp drop in oil prices.
The agency said it made the move to make up for lost output in Libya and to give the global economy relief from high energy prices. It is only the third time the Paris-based group has taken such a step.
Immediately after the decision New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery plummeted $4.39 to close at $91.02 a barrel, a one-day drop of 4.6 percent.
And Brent North Sea crude for August delivery tumbled $6.95, or 6.0 percent, to $107.26. In early Asian trade the contracts rose, with WTI up 92 cents at $91.94 and Brent 64 cents higher at $107.
Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy, said: "With lower oil prices, the economy will have a better chance to get stronger. Along with this, the oil demand will also get a boost."
The oil price fall hit energy firms. In Tokyo Inpex fell 2.6 percent and Japan Petroleum lost 1.3 percent while in Seoul SK Innovation slumped 5.1 percent. Woodside Petroleum dropped 0.8 percent in Sydney.
Worries about the global economy were stoked after the US Labor Department reported an unexpected increase in initial jobless claims, by 9,000 to 429,000 in the week to June 18, while the Commerce Department said new-home sales fell 2.1 percent in May.
In Asia, the preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index hit an 11-month low, reflecting Beijing's efforts to cool the Chinese economy.
And a key indicator of manufacturing in the eurozone plummeted to a
20-month low in June.
Tokyo spent the morning in positive territory thanks to optimism over the corporate outlook as the recovery from the March 11 quake and tsunami looks to be kicking in.
Nissan said Thursday it expected a 15 percent fall in annual net profit for the year to March 2012 but saw global sales rising 9.9 percent to a record 4.6 million units with full production returning in October.
And Isuzu Motors had on Wednesday issued an aggressive net profit projection for the current fiscal year.
In Hong Kong luxury goods maker Prada opened just 0.39 percent higher on its Hong Kong trading debut. Turbulent global markets have sapped sentiment for new offerings.
The European single currency softened to $1.4242 in Tokyo morning trade from $1.4257 in New York late Thursday. It was down to 114.63 yen from 114.72 yen.
The dollar was rangebound at 80.48 yen against 80.52 yen.
Gold opened in Hong Kong at $1,523.50-$1,524.50 an ounce, down from Thursday's close of $1,544.00-$1,545.00. (AFP)