Asian equities rose on Thursday after the Greek parliament voted in favor of a new bailout plan, but Chinese market volatility remained a worry.
Lawmakers in Athens passed strict austerity measures needed to secure a debt deal from its creditors early Thursday morning local time, two hours after the official deadline. However, politicians from within Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' ruling Syrzia party opposed the conditions outlined in Monday's deal, which include tax increases and spending cuts, sparking concerns of internal political strife. The vote comes ahead of Monday's payment to the European Central Bank (ECB).
Attention now falls on the ECB's rates decision later on Thursday, with President Mario Draghi likely to face questions on a decision on Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for Greece. The ELA is a program of emergency loans for Greek lenders to keep them solvent and now that the Greek parliament has approved the necessary reforms, the central bank is widely expected to increase funding.
In the U.S., Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen kicked off her two-day testimony before Congress on Wednesday, saying that a decision to hike interest rates would not mean the economy was in trouble. She reiterated last Friday's statement that the central bank is on pace to raise rates this year if the economy evolves as expected.