Japan Climbs 5% on Weaker Yen, Sydney Rises 3%

Asian stocks rose Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei surging almost 5 percent higher following a gain in U.S. markets and as exporters rebounded on a weaker yen.

The yen extended losses against the euro and the dollar after Japan announced it would offer public funds to firmswhose capital has been hurt by the global financial crisis. News of the government funding offer came during the stock market's midday break, giving stocks the extra boost.

Crude oil prices fell below $46 a barrel in early Asian trading, on expectations of an increase in U.S. inventories.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Average closed up 4.9 percent, its biggest one-day gain in six weeks, on a lower yen and news the Japanese government will offer funds to
firms whose capital has been hurt by the financial crisis. Exporters gained on a wave of short-covering and Honda Motor surged over 9 percent following the announcement of further production cuts in North America and Japan, while a newspaper said the automaker would increase production capacity in China by 23 percent.

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Australian shares finished 3 percent higher, buoyed by stronger markets in the U.S. and Europe, with miners such as Rio Tinto gaining on a rebound in metals prices.