Asian markets rallied in Thursday's trading, with Hong Kong posting gains for the seventh consecutive trading day. The move was led by overnight gains on Wall Street and renewed demand for financial stocks.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 213 points, or 0.73%, to 29,558, but in China the Shanghai Composite Index ended marginally lower, down 0.15%, at 5,035.

In Japan, the Nikkei closed up 265 points, or 1.7%, to 15,874, as Mitsubishi UFJ ( MTU) and Mizuho Financial ( MFG) notched up some of the biggest gains of large-caps in the region. Mitsubishi UFJ surged 6.6%, to 1,228 yen, while Mizuho Financial soared 5.5%, to 648,000 yen, following renewed optimism over the U.S. credit scenario on Wednesday.

"These upward swings do not come out of the blue. When you look at emerging economies, especially Asia, you have to make a distinction between real economic growth and financial growth," says Serdar Kucukakin, emerging Asia economist for ABN Amro.

Kucukakin adds that many Asian financials remain strong compared to their U.S counterparts.

A broadly weakening yen pushed shares in Japanese exporters higher, too. Sony ( SNE) jumped 2.4%, to 6,000 yen, while Honda ( HMC) gained 2.4%, to 3,820 yen, and Nintendo ( NTDOY) clawed back Wednesday's losses, ending the day 1.2% higher, at 67,900 yen.

The yen hit a one-week low, at 111 yen vs. the dollar by the end of the Asian trading session.

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