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Most Asian markets rebound after recent slides

Most Asian markets rebound after recent slides

Most Asian stock markets rebounded Tuesday after several days of steep declines as investors snapped up beaten down shares like Honda and Samsung.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 459.02 points, or 6.4 percent, to 7,621.92 after early falling below 7,000 points to fresh 26-year lows.
A weaker yen against the dollar encouraged traders to buy exporters like Toyota, whose overseas earnings are eroded by a strong yen. The dollar, which had fallen to a 13-year low against the yen on Friday, rose to 95.00 yen from 93.01 yen in late New York trading.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index surged more than 13 percent to 12,470 in afternoon trading _ a day after plunging more than 12 percent. South Korea's Kospi also recovered after falling earlier, jumping 5.6 percent to close at 999.16.
Even stocks in Shanghai, which had fallen 6 percent earlier, turned positive in the afternoon.
"The market can't fall forever," said Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong.
Lun said the Hang's Seng's huge drop Monday was bringing buyers back to seek bargains and scoop up blue chips that had tumbled. He pointed to banking giant HSBC, which had declined Monday to levels not seen since the SARS epidemic in 2003.
U.S. stock index futures were sharply higher early Monday, suggesting Wall Street would advance after an erratic session Monday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 293 points, or 3.7 percent, at 8,304, while S&P futures were up 4.2 percent at 870.
"Extreme pessimism eased in the market as sentiment cheered the yen's retreat and sharp gains across Asia," said Yutaka Miura, senior strategist at Shinko Securities in Tokyo. He also said that the Nikkei's early fall below 7,000 points spurred buying.
Australia's key stock measure closed down 0.4 percent, though sharply pared earlier losses. Singapore's market index, also down more than 5 percent in morning trading, turned green in afternoon trading.
In South Korea, the buying was driven by domestic investors following the biggest rate cut ever by the central bank on Monday, analysts said, even as foreign investors kept selling to get cash to meet redemptions and liquidity needs at home. Data showed that foreigners, who have been dumping shares at a record pace this year, remained net sellers Tuesday.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. rose 5.8 percent, while Hyundai Motor Co. jumped 12.6 percent.
In Tokyo, Honda Motor Co. surged 14 percent, Toyota Motor Corp. jumped 7.8 percent and Sony Corp. rose 9.6 percent.
In a volatile session Monday on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 203.18, or 2.42 percent, to 8,175.77 after earlier rising by as many as 220 points. Most of the decline came in the final 10 minutes of trading. Broader indicators fell more.
Currency traders were on guard over possible moves by Japanese authorities to intervene in the market and cap the yen's strength after a Group of Seven advanced nations raised concerns over gains Monday.
"Investors are trading with caution over the Bank of Japan's intervention to curb the yen's rise," said Mitsuru Sahara, vice president of the foreign exchange division at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.
Though not a force in the currency markets in recent years, the Japanese central bank, at the behest of the nation's Finance Ministry, has stepped into the market massively in the past to buy U.S. dollars and sell yen at times of yen strength.
In South Korea, won sank a further 1.7 percent against the dollar despite suspected intervention by the central bank to purchase dollars. The won closed at 1,467.80 and is now down 36.2 percent so far this year.
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Associated Press writer Shino Yuasa in Tokyo contributed to this report.