HONG KONG (AP) _ Asian markets rebounded strongly Wednesday morning in obvious relief over the dramatic recovery on Wall Street.

The main index on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange soared more than 17 percent in the first three minutes of trading. By midday, the Hang Seng blue-chip index stood at 10,572.31 points, up 1,512.42 points or 16.69 percent. On Tuesday, the index had fallen 13.7 percent to close at 9,059.89 points _ its lowest level in nearly two years.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average jumped 544.35 points, or 3.34 percent, closing the day's trading at 16,857.04. On Tuesday, the average lost 725.67 points, or 4.26 percent.

Electronics and banking issues led the rally. Foreign and domestic institutional investors were among the most active buyers, traders said.

Markets also climbed steadily in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Investors were heartened by the performance of the Dow Jones industrial average, which wiped out more than half of Monday's 554-point plunge. It soared an unprecedented 337.17 to 7,498.32 and smashed volume records with 1.196 billion shares traded.

In a move that many investors took as a big vote of confidence in the U.S. market's future, International Business Machines stepped forward early Tuesday to announce that it would buy back up to $3.5 billion worth of its stock, which had been dragged down nearly 15 percent since Thursday morning. The news helped boost technology stocks, driving the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index up 67.93 to 1,603.02 _ an increase of 4.3 percent.

But analysts in New York and Asia warned that global market troubles haven't been magically solved and that rapid rebounds could lead to even more instability.

Especially in Hong Kong, where the chain reaction of market plunges began last week, economists noted that considerable liquidity has been lost and many investors remain too nervous to build up consistent upward momentum.

No one was expecting the Hang Seng to climb back anywhere near its Aug. 7 high of 16,673.27. Tuesday's plunge had left the market down 33 percent from that peak.

Around the region:

SOUTH KOREA: Share prices on the Korea Stock Exchange gained on expectations the government would reveal further market-boosting measures later in the day, analysts said. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed the morning session up 22.70 points, at 517.98.

THAILAND: The Stock Exchange of Thailand index rose 9.09 points in the first 14 minutes of trading, or 2 percent, to reach 469.89. It had closed down 6 percent Tuesday at 460.80 points.

INDONESIA: The Jakarta Stock Exchange index rose 4.8 percent, or 21.920 points, in early morning trading, to 468.916.

NEW ZEALAND: The NZSE-40 capital index was up 217.66 points, or 10 percent, at 2379.68 at midsession, compared with Tuesday's close of 2162.01.

AUSTRALIA: The All Ordinaries Index, the broadest indicator of the market's performance, was at 2476.8 at midday, up 177.6 points, or 7.7 percent, from its close Tuesday of 2299.2.

SINGAPORE: The Straits Times Industrials Index, the 30-stock benchmark index of the Stock Exchange of Singapore, was up 17.03 points or 1.14 percent to 1514.06 at the open Wednesday

KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange's benchmark Composite Index rose 33.01 points or 5.1 percent to 680.33 points in early morning trading.

TAIWAN: The Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index rose 181.30 points to 7391.31 at the opening, with light trading.

PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Stock Exchange Index of 30 selected stocks was up 87.64 points at the opening, or 5 percent, to 1,827.82, after Tuesday's 117.16-point plunge.