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Asia stock markets rise in early trading



) — Asia stock markets rose in early trading Wednesday after the Dow Jones industrials posted their biggest gain in five weeks.

Australia's main index rose 0.7 percent to 4,907.40, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 1,690.25.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average was up 0.9 percent at 10,870.5 after the government released encouraging trade data. Driven by robust global demand for cars and gadgets, the country's exports jumped 45 percent in February from a year earlier.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow rose 102.94, or 1 percent, to 10,888.83 amid hopes the U.S. stock market is on the verge of a big rally. The Dow hit a new high for 2010 and is at its highest level since Sept. 26, 2008.

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In currencies, the dollar held steady at 90.41 yen. It rose slightly against the euro, which traded at $1.3469 from $1.3495 late Tuesday.

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