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HONG KONG, Nov 13 AFP

November 13 2012, 7:36PM

Asian markets have fallen on uncertainty about the global economic outlook as the US "fiscal cliff" looms and much-needed bailout cash for Greece was delayed.

The yen rose against the euro and dollar on Tuesday as investors sought safety, dealing a blow to Japan's exporters, while the European unit hit a two-month low against the greenback.

Chinese shares declined as property shares tumbled on concerns over government intentions to maintain policies to control housing prices, dealers said.

Tokyo was down 0.18 per cent, or 15.39 points, at 8,661.05, as an early bargain-hunting rally yielded to concern about the stubbornly high yen.

Sydney fell 1.53 per cent, or 68.23 points, to 4,379.8, its biggest fall in four months. Seoul lost 0.59 per cent, or 11.17 points, to end at 1,889.70.

Hong Kong fell 1.13 per cent, or 241.65 points, to 21,188.65 and Shanghai gave up 1.51 per cent, or 31.39 points, to 2,047.89.

Eurozone finance ministers said after a meeting on Monday that Greece had made "considerable progress" towards meeting conditions for its next tranche of cash, but they would have to meet again on Tuesday next week to decide whether to release it.

In the United States, investors are growing increasingly nervous about the approaching fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax rises, that threatens to send the economy back into recession unless a cross-party deal is brokered.

"There has been no improvement on the European debt crisis or the US fiscal cliff," said James Rosenberg, Macquarie Private Wealth investment adviser in Australia.

In Asian currency trade the euro fell to $US1.2680 - around its lowest since early September - and Y100.47, compared with $US1.2709 and Y101.02 in New York late on Monday.

The dollar was at Y79.23 against Y79.49.

Traders are watching events in Beijing, where the Communist Party's 18th congress is in its final days and China's leaders for the next 10 years are due to be unveiled.

Investors hope the next few days will provide a little more clarity over policy in the world's No.2 economy.

On oil markets New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, shed 71 US cents to $US84.86 a barrel in the afternoon. Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell 83 US cents to $US108.34.

Gold was at $US1,722.80 by 1910 AEDT, compared with $US1,736.60 late Monday.

In other markets:

- Taipei shed 1.81 per cent, or 131.70 points, to 7,136.05.

Smartphone maker HTC was down 6.83 per cent at $Tw225.0, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co dropped 1.10 per cent to $Tw90.3.

- Manila closed 0.27 per cent lower, shedding 14.78 points to 5,455.92.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust slipped 1.89 per cent to 95.95 pesos while Ayala Corp dropped 1.56 per cent to 443 pesos.

- Wellington fell 0.34 per cent, or 13.44 points, to 3,970.55.

Fletcher Building was off 0.94 per cent at $NZ7.41, Telecom lost 1.64 per cent at $NZ2.40 and Air New Zealand was steady on $NZ1.25.

- Kuala Lumpur and Singapore were closed for public holidays while Mumbai was open for a traditional 75-minute ceremonial trading session to mark Diwali.

By Danny McCord