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Surging Shanghai shares lead Asian markets



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Chinese shares surged on Wednesday, making up for some of the heavy losses seen earlier in the week.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 4.7% at 3,323.61 after losing nearly 8% on Monday following a crackdown by regulators on margin trading.

Finance and real estate shares led the rally a day after China's 2014 annual growth figure came in above expectations.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index rose 1.7% to 24,352.58.

Japanese shares closed lower after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) decided against introducing fresh easing measures in its policy meeting.

Bucking the regional trend, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.5% to 17,280.48 after jumping more than 2% in the previous session.

The yen gained 0.9% to 117.76 to the dollar on the BOJ's decision.

Sharp shares fell 2.6% after media reports that it was planning to cut production of its liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for smartphones following slowing sales in China and intense price competition.

Rest of Asia higher

Australian shares were up after a survey showed that consumer sentiment had rebounded in January thanks to falling fuel prices.

The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank index rose a seasonally adjusted 2.4% in January after a 5.7% drop in December.

The S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.6% higher at 5,393.4 - marking its biggest one-day gain so far this year. However, the benchmark is still down 0.3% for the year.

In South Korea, shares closed higher despite data showing that exports fell sharply in the first 20 days of the year from a year ago.

Exports dropped 9%, while imports slumped 10.6%, according to government figures.

The benchmark Kospi index climbed 0.2% to 1,921.23.

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