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Asia Higher on US Rally, Nikkei Up 1.8%

Asian stocks jumped on Wednesday, after a number of successful European bond auctions eased investor concerns about the euro zone's solvency crisis. The gains followed a rally on Wall Street, which saw the three major indices gaining more than 2 percent.

Japan's Nikkei average rose 1.8 percent to a one-month closing high. Short-covering picked up and investors grew more confident about the global economy after successful debt sales by some of the weakest euro zone members.

The market gained across the board, with blue-chip exporters such as Canon in favor on easing worries about a stronger yen.

Nintendo surged 5.5 percent to 26,600 yen as investors cheered its new 3D DS portable game player.

Sony added 0.9 percent to 2,639 yen, after the company said it would launch its motion-controlled gaming system months ahead of Microsoft.

The benchmark Nikkei gained 179.26 points to 10,067.15, after earlier rising as high as 10,109.86, its highest since late May.

The broader Topix rose 1.5 percent to 892.38.

Canon finished 3.8 percent higher to 3,880 yen, while chip-tester maker Advantest climbed 2.5 percent to 2,028 yen.

Itochu and other trading houses rose along with rising metals prices as signs of an improving economy and easing European debt problems boosted investor demand for industrial metals. Itochu and Mitsui & Co jumped more than 4 percent each.

Seoul Climbs to 6-Week High

Seoul shares advanced to a 6-week closing high, fueled by steady foreign buying and firm gains in key blue chips such as Samsung Electronics and Woori Finance.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) finished up 0.9 percent at 1,705.33 points.

Shares in Woori Finance Holdings rose 3.3 percent after KB Financial Group nominated a new chairman who is expected to seek a merger with Woori. KB Financial Group retreated 2.8 percent.

Telecom issues declined after LG Telecom unveiled aggressively priced wireless service plans on Tuesday.

Shares in SK Telecom were down 2.1 percent and KT Corp shed 3.37 percent. LG Telecom, however, was up 0.51 percent.

Memory chip makers were helped by a 5.5 percent spike in the key U.S. semiconductor index.

Shares in Samsung Electronics, the world's No.1 memory chip maker, rose 2.6 percent and Hynix Semiconductor, the world's No.2, climbed 0.7 percent.

Australian shares ended the session 1.2 percent higher, led by major miners as hopes of a resolution to the country's mining tax debate grew and metal prices firmed.

Successful debt sales by euro zone members also boosted confidence in the global economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 53.96 points to close at 4,559.9, slightly off its opening gain of 1.3 percent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 22.67 points at 3,066.6.

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, gained 2.2 percent, while Rio Tinto added 2.7 percent.

The four biggest banks also traded higher, while Qantas Airways rose 3.3 percent after announcing it had appointed a new chief financial officer.

Malaysia's KLCI added 0.9 percent to take the index to a 1-month high.

Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed 1 percent on improved sentiment.

Shipping-related plays were among best performers as Cosco's US$440 million contract win to build bulk carriers fueled interest in sector. Cosco shares advanced 4.1 percent while Neptune Orient Lines rose 5.1 percent.

Financial markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. Trading resumes on Thursday.