Asian stocks closed to the upside Monday as the Bush administration revived hopes of a bailout for troubled U.S. automakers and despite a survey that showed confidence at major Japanese manufacturers marked its sharpest drop in 34 years.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 5.2% to close at 8664.66. The Hang Seng index rose almost 2%, while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia finished higher by 2.3%.

The Bank of Japan's closely watched "tankan" quarterly survey for December showed the confidence index for large manufacturers at minus 24 -- the fifth straight quarterly decline and the steepest fall since February 1975.

Shanghai's composite index rose 0.5% as China announced a multibillion dollar plan to spur consumer spending.

Japanese car companies traded higher Monday as investors bet the Bush administration would tap a $700 billion financial bailout fund to aid U.S. automakers

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report





(F) - Get Report

says it does not need federal help now, but its survival is far from certain.


(TM) - Get Report

rose almost 10%.

Stocks in Europe were trading higher. The FTSE 100 index rose 0.9%, while the DAX in Frankfurt rose 1.8%.

Premarket futures in the U.S. were indicating a mixed for stocks on Wall Street Monday.

Stocks in New York on Friday managed to close in slightly positive territory despite news of a stalled relief plan for U.S. automakers.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

, down as much as 217 points early on, ended up 64.59 points, or 0.8%, at 8629.68. The

S&P 500

edged up 6.15 points, or 0.7%, at 879.74, and the


gained 32.84 points, or 2.2%, to 1540.72.

For the week, the Dow lost 0.1%, the S&P added 0.4%, and the Nasdaq added 2%.

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