Asian stock markets were mostly higher early Wednesday after U.S. markets rose for a third straight day on confidence that business leaders expect the recovery to stick.

The markets also got strength from hopes of a German-led bailout of Greece.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.39 percent to 10,262, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.16 percent to 1,618.

The Shanghai composite index was little changed at 3,073.

Australian stocks fell 0.71 percent to 4,735, a day after the country's central bank raised its key interest rate to 4 percent. Singapore and Taiwan were up slightly and Malaysia fell less than a percent.

In U.S. deal news, CF Industries made a new offer for fertilizer maker Terra Industries, and Dow Chemical Co. sold its Styron plastics business to private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.63 billion. Investors often see takeovers as signs of confidence in the economy.

Another source of optimism among investors is the prospect of a solution to the Greek debt crisis from Germany and France. They would help Greece borrow the money it needs in the international bond markets.

Elsewhere, the markets are awaiting a decision from the Bank of Canada on interest rates ahead of Thursday's meetings of the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.

The U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for February is on the calendar for Friday. The U.S. jobs report often sets the tone of the market after its release.

In the U.S. on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.19, or less than 0.1 percent, to 10,405.98, its highest level since Jan. 20. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.60, or 0.2 percent, to 1,118.31.

The dollar mostly fell against other major currencies. Gold rose.

Crude oil rose 98 cents to $79.68 per barrel on the New York

Mercantile Exchange.

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