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Nikkei soars 7.71% in biggest one-day jump since 2008 financial crisis

46Tokyo’s benchmark index rocketed 7.71 percent on Wednesday, leading an Asian equities rally in its biggest one-day jump since late 2008 during the global financial crisis when markets were hit by wild volatility.

The Nikkei-225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange soared 1,343.43 points to 18,770.51 by the close, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares jumped 6.40 percent, or 90.66 points, to 1,507.37.

Wednesday’s recovery came after the Nikkei tumbled 2.43 percent a day earlier, wiping out all of its gains since the start of the year, as weak China trade data aggravated worries about the world’s number two economy.

Fears of a slowdown in Chinese growth have sent panic through world stock exchanges, as the country is a key driver of global expansion and a vital market.

But European shares and US stocks powered higher Tuesday, after a rally on China’s
Shanghai Index and an upgrade on the reading for eurozone second-quarter economic growth.

Asian shares broadly rose Wednesday, with experts suggesting Beijing stepped in to support mainland shares.

The weak trade figures also raised the prospect China would unveil further economy-boosting measures, following five interest rate cuts since November.

“Expectations for more policy action from China and strength in the European economy saw the return of risk,” Chihiro Ohta, general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Bloomberg News.

“At long last, we may be seeing a real rebound.”

Chris Weston, chief markets strategist at IG Ltd. in Melbourne, said: “As long as China is stable and equity markets there aren’t in free fall, markets will generally go higher.”

Sentiment also got a boost as Japan released better-than-expected consumer confidence figures for July — after weak revised GDP figures this week showed the economy still contracted last quarter.

Also Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated a pledge to cut one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world by next year.