and European markets higher in afternoon trade. Japan's Nikkei shrugged off Moody's placing the country's local and foreign currency bond ratings on review for a possible downgrade, adding 2.0% on expectations that industrial orders will rise sharply in the coming months. Exporters were among the biggest gainers, benefitting from a weaker yen, as Canon added 1.4%. Embattled Tokyo Electric Power fell 1.3% after receiving two downgrades from S&P. Shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai added 2.2% and 1.4% respectively as commodity-related names were the biggest gainers. Today's gains in Shanghai snapped an eight-day losing streak. Energy giant PetroChina added 3.1% in Hong Kong. India's Sensex gained 1.5% despite the country's GDP slowing to 7.8% from the previous quarter's 8.3% reading. Financials led the advance with HDFC Bank climbing 3.2%. The major European indices are strong at midday (FTSE +0.8%, CAC +1.5%, DAX +1.9%) on word of a German-led bailout package in the works for Greece. Financial across the region are among the top performers with Deutsche Bank and Allianz adding close to 2.0% each in Germany, and Societe Generale and BNP Paribas adding 2.8% and 2.2% respectively in France.