Asian stocks rose Wednesday on renewed hopes the U.S. government's rescue plan for the financial sector will receive approval from lawmakers.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average closed higher by 108.40 points, or 0.96%, to 11,368.26. The index fell 4.1% on Tuesday after the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the bailout package.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX-200 index rose 4.2% to 4794.60, helped by news that mining company BHP Billiton ( BHP) won approval from Australia's competition regulator for its hostile $101 billion offer for Rio Tinto ( RTP). The index fell 4.3% on Tuesday.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore were closed for holidays on Wednesday.

Stocks in Europe were mixed. The FTSE 100 index in London rose 1.3%, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell slightly.

S&P 500 futures in the U.S. fell 11.60 points to 1157.50, and were trading 11.02 points below fair value. Nasdaq futures fell 17.75 points to 1586.75, and were trading 9.17 points below fair value.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday evening on its version of the $700 billion financial rescue plan rejected Monday by the House, which will include an increase in the cap to the level of deposits in bank accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $250,000, according to published reports. A House revote is expected later in the week.

Stocks in New York closed with strong gains Tuesday, recouping some of the heavy losses suffered in the previous session's massive selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 485.21 points, or 4.7%, at 10,850.66, and the S&P 500 added 58.34 points, or 5.3%, to 1164.73. The Nasdaq climbed 98.6 points, or 5%, to 2082.33.

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