Asian Stocks Surge Following Wall St

Financial markets in Asia have risen sharply overnight Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei index gaining a record 14%. The gains came after Wall Street shares rocketed 11% on Monday as investors welcomed fresh moves to deal with the worldwide financial crisis.

Investors were encouraged by news the US government wanted to put in place its $700bn (£400m) bank bail-out quickly.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has also announced a A$10.4bn ($7.3bn) economic stimulus package. It will allow for one-off payments to the country's low-wage earners and pensioners and follows earlier announcements of guarantees of bank deposits for three years.

According to Mr Rudd, the strategy "will strengthen the national economy and support Australian households".

Australia's main share index ended the day up 3.7%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average soared 1,171.14 points, or 14.15% at 9,447.57 - its biggest ever percentage gain. The Japanese stock exchange was closed on Monday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 715.67 points, or 4.4%, at 17,027.83 by the mid-session break. South Korea's index finished the day 6.14% higher.

In the US, President George W Bush is due to make a statement shortly before markets open there later on Tuesday.