Despite the carnage on Wall Street Wednesday, Asian markets finally crawled out of their dismal abyss overnight. European markets remain skittish, but major indices turned up as midsession approached.

After swinging in a 700-point range, Tokyo's

Nikkei 225

average surged 2.6% into the close to end at 12,152.8. Market pundits speculated the recovery might have been driven by news that Japanese bank

UFJ Holdings

doubled its loan loss provisions in response to growing fears about loan defaults, as well as news the Japanese government might set up a fund to cover investor losses.

On Wednesday, ongoing concerns over Japan's staggering economy and its sagging stock market were exacerbated by news that a credit rating agency, Fitch, put 19 Japanese banks on credit review and that the

Bank of Japan

was in emergency talks with two troubled banks.

took a look at the impact Japan's troubles had on

worldwide markets yesterday. The Nikkei remains near a 16-year low.

Hong Kong also recouped recent losses, and the

Hang Seng

closed 1.2% higher at 13,504.2.

In Europe, the


was recently trading up 21.7 points, or 0.39%, to 5647.6. Germany's

Xetra Dax

was 60.15 higher, or 1.04%, to 5854.3. And Paris'


was rising 39.4, or 0.77%, to 5154.9. Finland's

Helsinki General Index

, however, was dropping 261 to 7829, a 3.2% loss.