Asia shares slip on Greek default fears, Fed meeting awaited

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks slipped on Tuesday as financial markets braced for the possibility of Greece defaulting on its debt, while a two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary committee starting later in the day also prompted caution. Global equity markets have felt a pinch after talks between cash-strapped Athens and its creditors broke down over the weekend, with Greece only having two weeks before it has to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the International Monetary Fund. Sentiment soured further on Monday as both sides hardened their stance. "The macro duo of the FOMC and Greece continue to create jitters – it will be a daily theme for the next month; in the case of the Fed, the next three to four months," Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote. The two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting begins later on Tuesday and the focus was on whether the U.S. central bank offers a hint of an interest rate rise later in the year. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> dropped 0.5 percent. Shanghai <.SSEC> lost 2.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi <.KS11> fell 1.4 percent. Japan’s Nikkei <.N225> dropped 0.6 percent, with external factors overcoming bullish domestic incentives. "The Japanese economic recovery is gaining momentum so the market could have gone up but a correction in overseas equity markets is weighing," said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities in Tokyo. In currencies, the euro

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