Asian shares track Wall Street gains

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Shares in Asia rose as markets tracked gains seen in the US and Europe on Tuesday.

Confidence among US investors had been bolstered by strong results from major US firms, together with reports that the European Central Bank was mulling new measures to boost the eurozone.

In Japan, the Nikkei index closed up 391.49 points, or 2.6%, at 15,195.77.

Sentiment in Japan was boosted by figures showing a rapid increase in exports last month.

Exports jumped 6.9% from a year earlier - the strongest rise for seven months - although the trade deficit for the month still widened.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended 315.39 points higher, or 1.4%, at 23,403.97. However, in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 13.10 points to 2,326.55.

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed up 21.69 points at 1,936.97.

Financial markets in Malaysia and Singapore were closed on Wednesday for the Hindu holiday, Diwali.

In Australia, the ASX All Ordinaries index rose more than 1% to 5,373.29.

The market was boosted by news from BHP Billiton, the world's third-largest supplier of iron ore, which said it was on track to deliver production growth of 16% over a two-year period, to mid-2015.

BHP's chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the firm's "relentless focus on productivity" continued to yield strong results. Shares in BHP rose 1.5%.

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