Asian investors took heart from a late-in-the-day rally in U.S. stocks, with futures on indexes from Japan to Australia signaling gains as the worst quarter for global equities since 2011 comes to a close.

Futures foreshadowed a 1.7 percent rebound in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, which slid to the lowest level since January Tuesday amid an Asia-wide equity selloff as concern over China’s slowdown took hold in markets once again. Copper futures rallied, while crude oil fell as traders looked ahead to data on U.S. supplies due Wednesday. The yen held gains before reports on Japanese retail trade and factory output.

With stocks in Asia headed for their worst quarter since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the five-day holiday that starts Thursday in China will provide a reprieve from a country that has been at the epicenter of the global turmoil since devaluing its currency in August. While a jump in consumer confidence helped U.S. stocks erase losses, implied volatility remains almost double its average over the past year as uncertainty over China and the Federal Reserve’s next move keep investors on tenterhooks.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent by 8:02 a.m. Tokyo time. The U.S. benchmark reversed a drop of as much as 0.5 percent to end Tuesday up 0.1 percent. The yen was little changed at 119.80 per dollar after rising 0.7 percent the past two days, helping Japan’s currency to become the best performer among major peers the past three months. Copper futures added 0.3 percent, as U.S. oil continued to see-saw, falling 0.7 percent after rising Tuesday.

Selling in biotech and technology stocks continued in the U.S., sending the Russell 2000 Index to its longest slump since 2006 and briefly pushing the Nasdaq Composite below its August close. Ten-year Treasuries climbed, with yields sinking to a one-month low.

Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index were up 0.9 percent in most recent trading, while contracts on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Hang Seng China Enterprises indexes climbed at least 0.7 percent. FTSE China A50 Index futures gained 0.6 percent following a 2 percent drop in the Shanghai Composite Index Tuesday. Markets in South Korea resume Wednesday after a two-day holiday.

Source : Bloomberg