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 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press
By The Associated Press

China's key stock market index surged 5.3 percent early 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 stock investor pictured at a brokerage house in Beijing, China, on Thursday.WU HONG / EPA

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, 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. European markets also advanced in early trading.

The gains came after Wall Street rocketed overnight. The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 600 points, or four percent — its third-biggest point gain of all time.

Related: Chinese Investors Lick Their Wounds

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.

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.