Markets now: Australia, most Asian markets rising

HONG KONG -- Most Asian stock markets recovered in early trading Monday after last week's historic sell-off as governments around the world intensified efforts to boost the ailing financial system.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 index was up more than 4% in response to a government plan to guarantee bank and other lender deposits for three years. The benchmark plunged over 8% on Friday, its biggest single-day fall ever.

Elsewhere, benchmarks in Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand gained more than 1%, while China and Taiwan stocks traded lower.

Japan's market, where the Nikkei 225 tanked 10% Friday to close out its worst week in history, was closed for a public holiday.

The region's markets showed signs of life after European nations agreed Sunday to temporarily guarantee bank refinancing and provide fresh capital to distressed banks as part of a host of emergency measures to help the credit markets. In the U.S., Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called Sunday for coordinated, international steps to deal with the global financial crisis.

Wall Street futures indicated a sharp rebound ahead of the opening bell on Monday. Dow Jones industrials futures rose 235 points, or 2.8%, to 8,605. Standard & Poor's 500 futures jumped 19.25, or 1.50%, at 1,309.00; and Nasdaq-100 futures added 22.10, or 2.48%, at 913.10.

In a volatile session Friday in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 128, or 1.49%, to 8,451.49, gyrating within a 1,000 point range. The average had its worst week on record in both point and percentage terms.