* Asian financials rise, European markets seen mixed
* Buffett to invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs
* Concern that U.S. Congress may stall bailout plan
* Oil rises towards $107 a barrel ahead of inventory data (Repeats to additional subscribers with no change to text)
SINGAPORE, Sept 24 Asian financial shares and U.S. stock futures rose on Wednesday after Warren Buffett surprised the market with a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs (GS.N).
Firmer stocks knocked some of the safe-haven premium off U.S. Treasuries and the dollar inched down against the euro as fears continued to grip investors that U.S. lawmakers will stall a proposed $700 billion bailout of the battered financial sector.
"The market is still nervous about the outcome of the proposed U.S. plan as politics seems to be making the deal more complicated," said Ryuji Shimai, a market analyst at Shinko Securities in Tokyo.
European markets were seen opening mixed, as Buffett's vote of confidence in Wall Street banks competed for attention with uncertainty over the U.S. bailout plan and business sentiment surveys due in France, Italy and Germany.
Crude oil futures edged up towards $107 a barrel, paring Tuesday's losses of nearly $3, ahead of U.S. government inventory data expected to show declines in crude and gasoline stocks.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 gained 0.2 percent, while MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS, which slumped to a two-year low last week, was up 0.3 percent at 0605 GMT.
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI and S&P 500 .SPX both losing around 1.5 percent, amid congressional wrangling over Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan to buy up toxic mortgage debt on financial institutions' balance sheets in an effort to resolve the root cause of the current financial crisis. [ID:nN23313135]
But news that Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) was investing in Wall Street's most powerful firm sent U.S. index futures SPc1 surging as much as 23 points.
Buffett's move also boosted Australia's financial sector, with National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) up 6.2 percent and ANZ Banking Group (ANZ.AX) gaining 3.1 percent, as the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1 percent.
In Hong Kong the financial sector also led gains, with China Life (2628.HK) up 2.8 percent and ICBC (1398.HK) up 2.4 percent, as the Hang Seng Index .HSI put on 0.8 percent.
"Everybody is just following god, Warren Buffett has shown the way," said Francis Lun, general manager with Fulbright Securities, as the move by the world's most famous investor was taken as a sign there may now be value in the beaten-down sector.
Japan's third-biggest bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) (8316.T) also planned to invest several billion dollars in Goldman, according to the Kyodo news agency, though SMFG said it had no plans to do so for now. SMFG shares added 2.1 percent.
South Korean stocks rose 0.9 percent, reversing early losses as an anticipated announcement of government measures to curb short-selling sent foreign investors who had been betting on price falls scrambling to cover their positions.
The dollar trimmed gains versus the yen on uncertainty about the effectiveness of the U.S. bailout plan.
The U.S. currency has retreated against the yen and euro this month as the crisis in the financial sector gathered pace, highlighted by last week's collapse of Lehman Brothers LEHMQ.PK and the $85 billion rescue of insurance giant AIG (AIG.N).
"The main focus is on whether the U.S. Congress will approve the rescue plan within the week, and whether the plan functions as hoped if passed," said Tomoko Fujii, head of economics and strategy for Japan at Bank of America.
The gains in U.S. stock futures limited the safe-haven appeal of government debt. Benchmark U.S. 10-year note US10YT=RR fell 3/32 in price, pushing yields up to 3.816 percent from 3.803 percent late in New York on Tuesday.
Gold XAU= fell after the dollar bounced on Tuesday, continuing a strong negative correlation between the greenback and dollar-denominated commodities that has been in place for several months.
Base metals also fell, with Shanghai aluminium futures slipping 2.2 percent to a four-year low on concerns over swelling stockpiles and worries China's smelters will continue to churn out metal despite weak demand.
U.S. crude for November delivery was up 25 cents at $106.86 a barrel. Losses on Tuesday had followed a record surge of nearly 16 percent in the now expired October contract on Monday.
A Reuters poll of analysts predicted U.S. inventory data due later would show a fall of 2 million barrels in crude stocks. (Additional reporting by Parvathy Ullatil in HONG KONG; Editing by Jean Yoon)
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