Asian shares nudged higher but the ebullience seen in the previous trading session was replaced by a more cautious tone as investors waited to hear firmer details of rescue plans for Europe’s debt-stricken economies.

Exporters were buoyed by weaker currencies but strong early gains were largely overturned by the clos, leaving the FTSE Asia Pacific index up just 0.5 per cent at 219.93.

Analysts said the two-day advance appeared to be running out of steam after the Financial Times reported a split had opened in the eurozone over terms of Greece’s second bail-out package.

“We saw a late reversal of some of last night’s big ‘risk on’ moves on reports that European leaders were not completely united on the planned policy response,” said analysts at ANZ Bank.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Average inched 0.1 per cent higher to 8,615.65.

Japan Tobacco lost morning gains of more than 9 per cent after the country’s ruling party said it may propose selling its controlling stake to help pay for rebuilding following the March earthquake.

Analysts said the plan would allow management to make business decisions more autonomously but the stock fell 2.9 per cent to Y356,500 on concerns over recent proposals to raise tax on tobacco.

Tokyo Electric Power jumped 8.2 per cent to Y263 on talk that the company’s lenders may be asked to maintain their financing for 10 years.

Australian stocks climbed despite a mixed performance from the mining sector.

Retailers were higher after stronger than expected new home sales data boosted hopes that the recent period of household deleveraging was coming to an end.

Department stores were particularly strong with David Jones up 4.6 per cent to A$2.93, Myer Holdings 4.5 per cent higher at A$2.10 and Harvey Norman 3.4 per cent stronger at A$2.14. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9 per cent to 4,039.52.

Banks, resources and energy helped lift stocks in the Philippines. The Manila PSE index was the region’s best performing, climbing 4.2 per cent to 3,876.12. The country’s central bank said it would see a “one-off” inflationary impact from the recent typhoon.

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