BEIJING (AP) -- China's key stock market index surged 5.3 percent Thursday, its biggest gain in eight weeks, as markets across Asia rose following Wall Street's rebound, giving investors some relief after gut-wrenching global losses.

A man walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The Shanghai Composite Index, whose steep drop in recent days triggered worldwide selling, gained 5.3 percent to close at 3,083.59 points, bouncing back from losses that wiped some 20 percent off its value over the past week. It was the biggest one-day gain since a 5.5 percent rise on June 30.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.9 percent to 21,697.31 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1.1 percent to 18,574.44. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 advanced 1.2 percent to 5,233.30 and Seoul's Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 1,908.00. Markets in Singapore, Bangkok, New Zealand and Jakarta also rose.

European markets also advanced in early trading. France's CAC-40 added 2.1 percent to 4,597.36 and Germany's DAX gained 2.4 percent to 10,240.92.

The gains came after Wall Street rocketed up overnight. The Dow Jones industrial average soaring more than 600 points, or 4 percent. That was its third-biggest point gain of all time and its largest since Oct. 28, 2008.

Traders were encouraged by comments from William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, that the case for a U.S. interest rate hike in September is "less compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago," given China's troubles, falling oil prices and weakness in emerging markets.

"Traders took the cue to buy," said Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in a report.

Following a six-year run-up in U.S. stocks that has pushed major indexes to all-time highs, investors worry the economy could falter if the Fed raises rates too soon.

U.S. markets looked set for more gains, with futures for the Dow Jones and S&P both up 0.4 percent.

In currency markets, the dollar rose to 120.2220 yen from Wednesday's 120.1440 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1327 from the previous session's $1.1337.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 92 cents to $39.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 71 cents on Wednesday to close at $38.60. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1 to $44.14 in London after losing 7 cents the previous day to close at $44.14.

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