(Reuters) - Asian shares and the euro gained modestly Monday, relieved by the Greek parliament's passage of austerity measures that put the country a step closer to securing a much-needed bailout fund and avoiding a messy default.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> edged up as much as 0.3 percent on the news.

The index hit a six-month high on Thursday on optimism that Greece would clinch a deal on austerity measures, only to pull back on Friday when global lenders demanded that more steps needed to be taken to show Athens' commitment before they would agree on a crucial second bailout.

Japan's Nikkei <.N225> opened up 0.1 percent. .T

The Greek parliament approved on Monday the deeply unpopular austerity bill, while serious violence broke out on the streets of Athens and spread across the country.

The European Union meets on Wednesday to discuss giving a seal of approval for the new 130 billion-euro bailout. Greece needs the fund ahead of a major bond redemption on March 20.

But along with the parliamentary approval, Greece must also find a further 325 million euros of spending cuts and political assurances must be given that the plan will be implemented.

Given that the recent risk-taking sentiment has been based on an assumption that a disorderly default will be avoided, the approval confirms that this assumption is still valid and will support sentiment, Junya Tanase, chief currency strategist at JPMorgan Chase in Tokyo.

As long as other riskier assets respond positively, the euro will also keep a relatively firm tone. But this is just one of the many issues Greece still must solve, and markets will remain jittery over headline risks on Greece, he said.

As long as other riskier assets respond positively, the euro will also keep a relatively firm tone. But this is just one of the many issues Greece still must solve, and markets will remain jittery over headline risks on Greece, he said.