Updated from 12:37 a.m. EST
Asian stocks closed higher Wednesday, with Japanese shares rising modestly as the yen leveled off after recent steep gains against the dollar and as investors shopped for bargains.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.3% to 8438.45, breaking a three-day slump.
gained on media reports that Toshiba may buy Fujitsu's hard-disk drive business. A purchase would make Toshiba the world's biggest maker and take a loss-maker off of Fujitsu's books.
rose 4.5%. Media reports Tuesday had Sony reporting its first-ever yearly operating loss. Automaker
closed higher by 1.6%.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.3%, while the Kospi index in South Korea closed up 2.7%.
weighed on Hong Kong's market after Morgan Stanley analysts said the heavyweight London-based lender may have to raise $30 billion. The company's shares fell 4%.
The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia closed higher by 0.9%.
, which trades in Sydney and London, said Wednesday it would cut production and jobs at a diamond mine in Outback Australia because of the global economic downturn.
Stocks in Europe were trading mixed. The FTSE 100 index in London fell 0.3%, while the DAX index in Frankfurt was trading 0.2% higher.
Premarket futures in the U.S. were indicating a higher opening for stocks on Wall Street Wednesday.
Stocks in the U.S. ended mixed Tuesday as investors weighed earnings reports and further corporate job losses.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
declined 25.41 points, or 0.3%, to 8448.56. The
edged up 1.49 points, or 0.2%, at 871.75, and the
rose 7.67 points, or 0.5%, to 1546.46.
Oil topped $39 a barrel after
Chairman Ben Bernanke said a stimulus package could help revitalize the ailing U.S. economy. Oil rose $1.31 to $39.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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