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Updated from 1:06 a.m. EST

Asian stocks closed higher and U.S. futures indicated an upside opening after stocks plummeted on Wall Street Thursday and on reports


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

executives are weighing a sale of the company.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average finished up 2.7% to 7,910.79. The index lost 7% in the previous trading session.

Investors snapped up exporters and financial issues that were battered during the week by evidence of a sharp downturn in global growth.

Shares of


(TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corporation Report



(SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report

, and



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rose. Banks such as

Mitsubishi UFJ


finished higher.

Japan's central bank kept its already low interest rates of 0.3% on hold Friday but warned of a prolonged economic slump at home and abroad.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 2.9%, South Korea's Kospi jumped 5.8%, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.9%.

Stocks in Europe were mixed. The FTSE 100 index fell 0.3%, while the DAX in Frankfurt was higher by 0.2%.

U.S. stock index futures were higher following a two-day, 10.6% plunge in the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, its worst two-day percentage loss since October 1987.

Meanwhile, Citigroup began weighing the possibility of auctioning off pieces of the company or even selling itself outright, according to a report in the

Wall Street Journal


S&P 500

futures rose 26.60 points to 774.90, and were trading 23.71 points above fair value.


futures rose 35.50 points to 1075 and were 38.26 points above fair value.

The Dow, which had traded in a range of more than 350 points, ended down 444.99 points, or 5.56%, at 7552.29. The S&P 500 plummeted 54.14 points, or 6.7%, to 752.44, and the Nasdaq dropped 70.30 points, or 5.1%, to 1316.12. The S&P 500 last closed lower on April 14, 1997. The Dow had its lowest close since March 12, 2003.

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