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Jul 22, 2:43 AM EDT

Asian shares shrug off gloom over Ukraine while China property measures boost HK shares


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TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 23,700.22 by mid-afternoon as investors snapped up China property shares on expectations regional governments in China will move to shore up the troubled real estate sector.

"There's not much sparkling news," said Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. "But Chinese property plays are doing well as some provinces are due to introduce control policies."

China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 percent to 2,074.73.

Lending and sales curbs have cooled China's red-hot housing market, raising worries over possible defaults by overstretched property developers.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index added 0.8 percent to 15,343.28 as trading resumed after Monday's public holiday. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5 percent to 2,028.93.

Stock markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher, though Indonesian shares fell as authorities prepared to release official results of the country's hotly disputed presidential election.

Shares in the U.S. edged lower Monday as investors weighed a mixed batch of corporate earnings against mounting political turmoil in Gaza and the standoff over the Malaysia Airlines jet shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine with 298 people aboard.

Some investors fear Western governments, already alarmed by Russia's support for rebels in Ukraine's east, might toughen economic sanctions. The European Union's foreign ministers will meet Tuesday to discuss such penalties.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent to 17,051.73 and the Standard & Poor's 500 lost 0.2 percent to 1,973.63.

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent to close at 9,612.05 and France's CAC-40 shed 0.7 percent to 4,304.74. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.3 percent to 6,728.44.

In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude for September delivery was up 28 cents to $103.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 91 cents to $102.86 on Monday. The August contract, which expires Tuesday, was up 41 cents at $105.00 a barrel.

The euro edged lower, to $1.3519 from $1.3524 late Monday. The dollar rose to 101.54 yen from 101.40 yen.

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