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Asian markets close higher

UFJ and other big Japanese banks ended higher Tuesday.
UFJ and other big Japanese banks ended higher Tuesday.

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(CNN) -- Asian markets closed broadly higher Tuesday, as investors drew confidence from merger activity in the United States and a solid finish for Wall Street.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 finished the day up 1.02 percent to 10,561.01, buoyed by a rebound for banks such as UFJ, which jumped more than 10 percent.

On Monday, the index put on 1.15 percent, while last Thursday it fell more than 5 percent, the biggest single-day points loss in two years.

The broader Topix index rose 1.19 percent to 1045.18 . It closed Monday up 0.77 percent to 1032.88.

Hong Kong did best in the region, with a gain of almost 3 percent. South Korea and Taiwan rose around 2 percent. But Australia finished flat, just in the red.

Singapore is ahead 1 percent near the close.

The gains in Tokyo came mainly from the big banks and some tech-related stocks such as Sony, which announced a major restructure after the close. (Full story)

UFJ led the banks, surging 10.8 percent to 502,000 yen. Mizuho rose 8.6 percent to 291,000 yen, and there were rises of about 5 percent and 4.3 percent respectively for SMFG and MTFG.

Carmakers initially were firmer, but Toyota slipped to close 0.6 percent lower at 3190 yen and Nissan was down 1 percent to 1204 yen. Honda fell 1.4 percent to 4270 yen ahead of first-half earnings.

In the tech-related sector, there was a 1.05 percent rise to 3860 yen for consumer electronics leader Sony. Along with the restructure, it unveiled a tie-up on LCD panels with Samsung Electronics.

Hitachi was up 3 percent to 641 yen, and Matsushita Electric Industrial rose 2.2 percent to 1357 yen. There were similar good gains for NEC Electronics, Kyocera and Sanyo. But Fujitsu ended just in the red.

Sharp was up 0.5 percent to 1735 yen after unveiling plans Monday to boost LCD production in Europe. (Full story)

The market's biggest stock, mobile phone company NTT DoCoMo, ended 2 percent higher to 250,000 yen. It announced a smart-card technology joint venture late Monday with Sony. (Full story)

Big retailer Ito-Yokado was another gainer, up 3 percent to 4030 yen, despite figures showing another fall in Japanese retail sales in September. (Full story)

The dollar traded weaker at 108.24 in Tokyo late in the day. A falling dollar makes Japan's exports more expensive and lowers the value of profits earned overseas when converted to yen.

In Seoul, the Kospi ended 1.81 percent higher to 775.36, following its 1.8 percent gain on Monday. Big exporter Hyundai Motor was ahead 2.13 percent to 38,400 won.

Samsung Electronics rose 3.13 percent to 462,000 won and leading bank Shinhan put on 3.8 percent to 17,850 won.

SK Telecom ended 2 percent lower at 207,500 won ahead of quarterly earnings.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.03 percent lower at 3243.5.

Resources leader BHP Billiton was up 0.5 percent to A$11.25 and News Corp wa 1 percent firmer to A$12.30. Qantas was up 2.3 percent to A$3.58. But big banks were all in the red.

The Australian dollar is trading at 70.31 U.S. cents, near six-year highs.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jumped 2.91 percent to 12,091.88. Leading bank HSBC rose 2.7 percent to HK$113.00 and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa put on 2.15 percent to HK$59.50. PCCW jumped 4.6 percent.

In Taiwan, the Taiex rose 1.96 percent to 6075.45. Big chip foundry TSMC jumped 3.8 percent ahead to T$68.00. Big industrial stock Formosa Plastic was 3 percent ahead to T$51.50.

In Singapore, the Straits Times index is 1.3 percent higher to 1734.64, led by gains of around 2 percent for DBS and Singapore Airlines.

The moves in Asia followed a strong day for Wall Street Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average put on 0.27 percent to 9608.16, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 0.93 percent to 1882.91. (Full story)

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