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Updated from 4:44 a.m. EST



) -- Asian stocks closed mostly lower Thursday as continued worries over the debt crisis in Greece sapped the confidence of investors.

European shares were higher, reversing course on the back of strong corporate earnings reports.

Greece was warned Wednesday by Standard & Poor's that its credit rating would be cut within a month. Moody's moved closer Thursday to also cutting the rating of the country.

Investors also were uneasy over labor protests that broke out in Greece against austerity measures ordered by the European Union to stem the debt crisis.

In Tokyo, stocks fell for a third-straight day. The Nikkei 225 stock average fell almost 1% to 10,101.96. Shares of


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edged lower by 0.2%.

In Hong Kong, stocks fell 0.3%, while the benchmark index in China bucked the trend rising 1.3%.

Premarket futures suggested stocks would open lower on Wall Street after they posted gains on Wednesday.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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