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Asian Markets React Positively to Obama Election Victory

Asian stock market have soared in Wednesday's early morning trading, as investors are apparently reacting positively to Barack Obama's election as president of the United States.

Tokyo's key Nikkei index closed nearly 4.5 percent higher, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is trading nearly 6 percent higher in late afternoon trading. Markets in Seoul, Sydney and Wellington are also trading higher.

Asian markets are also up after Tuesday's strong showings in the U.S. and European markets. U.S. share prices gained as much as 4 percent, while European indexes rose as much as 5 percent.

The gains come as a key measure of banks' willingness to lend to each other improved again. Before recent declines in the "Libor" interest rate, international credit markets had been stalled, making the economic crisis worse.

Credit markets began flowing as governments around the world offered trillions of dollars in emergency aid to financial institutions and cut interest rates in a bid to restore bankers' confidence. Australia cut its key interest rate today and the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are widely expected to slash rates on Thursday.

But that news may be tempered by a new United Nations' report that says the financial crisis has spread to international trade, hitting developing nations that export commodities particularly hard.

The U.N. report says a key measure of demand for trade, which tracks shipping costs, has fallen dramatically over the past few months.

Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg and Reuters.