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Huge Rally in Asia as China Steps on the Gas

Does European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi's reach extend even to Asia?

An investor smiles at a stock exchange hall on August 10, 2011 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province of China.
ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
An investor smiles at a stock exchange hall on August 10, 2011 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province of China.

China's Shanghai Composite Index closed up 3.7 percent, it's biggest daily gain since Jan. 17. Hong Kong's market up 3.1 percent, also its biggest gain since Jan. 17. Japan ended up 2.2 percent, its biggest gain since March 24. Korea closed up 2.6 percent. (Read More: Asia Jumps on ECB Plan; China Outperforms.)

There might be some knock-on effect from Mr. Draghi, but the main catalyst was word that China has approved 60 infrastructure projects worth more than $150 billion.

Yes, it is finally giving the green light to infrastructure (highways, railways, ports, etc.), despite the hangover from the last binge in 2008-2009. This is China's federal government, not regional governments. It is likely to follow through with this, unlike programs announced by regional governments.

The roughly $150 billion estimate for projects that have been approved by the National Development and Reform Commission is still only one-fourth the size of the 2008-2009 bailout package, but it is enough to get Chinese steel stocks up, along with the whole global commodities group: ArcelorMittal, Rio Tinto, Cliffs Natural Resources, and BHP Billiton all up about 3 percent.

China will post inflation, producer price, industrial production, and retail sales numbers for August over this weekend.

Elsewhere:

1) Despite the disappointing nonfarm payrolls report, futures barely moved and remained on the upside; Street convinced some type of monetary easing is coming.

2) Europe rally continues; Germany at 52-week high; European banks such as Deutsche Bank, ING, and Credit Suisse are all up 4 percent or more. (Read More: European Shares Trade Higher, Extending ECB Rally.)

3) A good week for stocks globally, with U.S. lagging:

Italy +6.81%
Spain +6.10%
China +3.92%
Germany +3.59%
Brazil +2.21%
S&P 500 +1.82%

—By CNBC’s Bob Pisani

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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