Asian markets lower as concerns about Greece grow

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Image caption Australia's market closed lower despite strong growth figures

Asian markets were mostly lower as concerns about Greece's ability to repay an IMF loan due on Friday weighed on investor sentiment.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.34% at 20,473.51 after ending its longest winning streak since 1988 on Tuesday.

A €300m ($334m; £216m) payment from Greece to the IMF is due on Friday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to travel to Brussels on Wednesday where he will be presented with a new plan to solve Greece's debt crisis.

International creditors will detail economic reforms needed if Greece is to receive further funding.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.9% at 5,583.60 despite reporting stronger-than-expected economic growth figures.

Australia's economy grew by 0.9% in the first quarter of the year, against forecasts for growth of between 0.5% and 0.7%.

Australia's big lenders, which are much-loved by investors for their yields, weighed on the country's stock market, with shares in both Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia closing down more than 1%.

"It's pretty clear there's pressure on the Australian yielding plays and we're seeing some of the market darlings under extreme pressure," said Sydney-based Michael McCarthy from CMC Markets.

"It's not going to be GDP to the rescue today," he added.

Hong Kong bucks trend

In China, the Shanghai Composite index closed flat at 4,909.98, after two previous sessions of strong gains.

A raft of initial share offerings this week was widely expected to draw liquidity from the mainland's markets.

According to local reports, the share offerings are expected to lock up 8.3tn yuan ($1.34tn; £873bn) of cash.

But shares in Hong Kong bucked the region's trend, with the Hang Seng index ending up 0.7% at 27,657.47 despite disappointing factory activity numbers for May.

HSBC's Hong Kong purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 47.6 in May, its lowest in more than three and a half years. A number below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

"This was the third consecutive month that the headline PMI was below 50," said John Zhu, HSBC's Greater China economist, "which confirms the downward momentum in business conditions."

Mr Zhu said China's slowing economy was "clearly having an impact on orders, with new business from the mainland falling at a particularly sharp pace in May".

"The subdued demand conditions will lead to a deterioration in the labour market," he added.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.74% at 2,063.16.

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