Asian shares rise on US deal hope
Optimism is growing that the latest US rescue plan will get approval
Asians shares have risen strongly following the announcement that US senators will vote later on Wednesday on a revamped financial rescue plan.
Japan's main Nikkei index ended up 108 points or 1% on increased hopes that a new deal can be agreed this week.
Australian and New Zealand stocks also saw big gains, rising 4% and 3%.
The new US package is broadly similar to the first, but includes new measures to help gain Congress's backing.
One of those new clauses will raise the government's guarantee on savings from $100,000 (£56,000) to $250,000.
To get through the Senate, the bill will require the backing of 60 of the 100 senators.
However, it will then have to return to the House of Representatives, which rejected the first version of the $700bn rescue plan on Monday.
The BBC's Jonathan Beale, in Washington, says a positive vote in the Senate is likely to give the bill momentum when it goes back to the House.
Wall Street's main Dow Jones index closed Tuesday up 4.7%, recouping some of the losses seen in Monday's record one-day points fall.
Gloom in Japan
Meanwhile data from the Bank of Japan suggests that business confidence there is worsening.
Regular surveys carried out by the bank provide a snapshot of business confidence in Japan's economy.
They measure sentiment by producing a figure that represents the number of firms who say business conditions are good, minus those saying conditions are unfavourable.
This month's figure for confidence among major manufacturers is minus three, down from five in the previous quarter.
It is the fourth quarter in a row that the figure has declined, and the first time it has been in negative territory since June 2003.
What it means is that a majority of Japan's biggest firms are now pessimistic about the conditions they are operating in.