Most Asian markets recover on hopes for US bailout

Associated Press Published: October 1, 2008

TOKYO (AP) -- Most Asian markets bounced back Wednesday on hopes that a $700 billion bailout for the U.S. financial system will soon win legislative approval, although doubts persisted about the outlook for the global economy.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index, the benchmark for Asia's biggest bourse, gained 108.40 points, or 1 percent, to close at 11,368.26. On Tuesday, it plunged 4.1 percent to its lowest in more than three years on disappointment that the U.S. House of Representatives had rejected the bank rescue package.

Australian stocks rallied, with the benchmark S&P/ASX-200 index jumping 4.2 percent after sinking 4.3 percent Tuesday. Markets in Taiwan and India also gained.

Otherwise, regional reaction was muted because several markets were closed for holidays, including those in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

In early European trading, markets were mixed. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 1.4 percent, but Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent.

Investors took heart from the rebound on Wall Street Tuesday amid expectations that lawmakers will salvage the rescue plan aimed at cleaning up the bad debt mess at banks and other financial institutions. The U.S. Senate was to vote Wednesday on a revised bailout plan, with a House revote expected later in the week. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average surged nearly 500 points after plunging 777 points on Monday.

But analysts warned that new worries were already starting to emerge about possible compromises that might be included in a reworked emergency package, raising questions about how effective it may be when implemented.

"The market is already expecting the plan to pass. The question now is what's next," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. in Tokyo.

Investors are still concerned about declining U.S. housing prices and the overall U.S. economy - a vital export market for Asia - especially as they look ahead to the Christmas shopping season.

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