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

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Russian President Vladimir Putin steps down upon his arrival at the airport of Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives for a meeting in Nieuwegein, Netherlands, Monday, July 21, 2014. Relatives of Dutch victims killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 are meeting Monday afternoon with their king, queen and prime minister amid growing anger at the treatment of their loved ones' bodies by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. Prosecutors in the Netherlands said they have begun an investigation into allegations of murder, war crimes and deliberately downing a passenger jet, though it remains unclear exactly where any suspects might be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis)

TOKYO — 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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