NEW YORK (AP) _ The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 100 points this morning following a strong day in most Asian markets, bolstering hopes that the global market sell-off has bottomed.

The Dow was up 113.70 at 7,555.78 in early trading, adding to widespread gains Friday. The Dow's recent improvement brings its gains for the year to more than 15 percent.

Major European markets responded to Asia's improvement by rallying early today.

On the London Stock Exchange, the benchmark Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100-share index was up 1.8 percent. Frankfurt's DAX index was up 3.4 percent and in Paris the CAC 40 index was up by 2.4 percent.

The Hong Kong stock market, which triggered the global market panic when it began plunging two weeks ago amid a speculative attack on its currency, gained 631.33 points or 5.94 percent to end the day at 11,255.11.

China-backed shares and blue-chip conglomerate stocks were the biggest gainers.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange and other financial markets in Japan were closed for a national holiday.

After a slow start, South Korea's market gained 2.9 percent. Dealers said foreign investors resumed buying, taking advantage of the newly raised ceiling on how much stock they can own in a listed company. The limit became 26 percent on Monday, up from 23 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, the overriding sentiment seemed to be relief that the worst is over. Especially heartening was the Dow's 60-point rise Friday.

``Long-term investors cannot afford to ignore this region, despite all the concerns that have been raised and the volatility,'' said Tan Keng Hock, director of Schroder Investment Management (Singapore).

He said the region's growth rate is still higher than the average in the most advanced economies.