LONDON (AFP) - Global equities were hit Tuesday by growing doubts about prospects for a US bailout package aimed at rescuing battered financial institutions and averting economic meltdown. US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged Congress on Tuesday to swiftly pass a 700-billion-dollar financial bailout or put the economy at risk. Wall Street nudged 0.32 percent higher at the opening, after plunging 3.27 percent on Monday, as investors were anxious about haggling in Congress over a government rescue to buy bad mortgage-related assets from financial institutions At the open, New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34.81 points to 11,050.50, one day after a 372-point slump. But in late afternoon European deals, the London stock market sank 2.11 percent, Paris dipped 1.55 and Frankfurt shed 0.37pc. In Asia, Hong Kong shares dived 3.9 percent, Sydney shed 1.9 percent and Shanghai dropped 1.56 percent, while Japan's markets were closed for a public holiday. "Traders will continue to digest the proposals in the coming days and there's clearly a lot of sentiment involved as we are seeing a step change in the financial landscape as we have come to know it," said CMC Markets dealer Matt Buckland. He added: "As this is played out, perhaps further volatility in inevitable." Initial enthusiasm over the rescue plan unveiled by the US government Friday turned sour this week as doubts surfaced over whether it would pass Congress and how it might be implemented. The market action came as the biggest financial bailout in decades appeared to be stalled amid differences between lawmakers and the US administration. But US President George W. Bush voiced confidence Tuesday that US lawmakers will approve a bailout package aimed at rescuing battered financial institutions. "Right now, it appears that the odds for creation of the legislation before the end of the week when Congress adjourns are high but the process will be a nail-biter," said Fred Dickson, analyst at DA Davidson & Co. "We don't see big downside risk to the stock market unless Congress adjourns without passing the rescue plan legislation. On the flip side, passage of the rescue legislation doesn't solve the problem of a slowing economy or more home foreclosures." After strong rebounds in global stock markets Friday on hopes that the US government's costly plan could rebuild shattered confidence, many investors on Tuesday grabbed profits and sought refuge in havens such as gold and oil. New York's benchmark crude oil futures contract rocketed more than 16 dollars overnight for its biggest one-day gain in history. Soaring energy costs push up inflation, in turn dampening global economic growth. The Bank of England has meanwhile pumped a further 40 billion dollars (28 billion euros) into money markets in a bid to ease pressure, while the European Central Bank renewed its offer of $40b in one-day loans. Major central banks had agreed last week to inject hundreds of billions of dollars into the system to ensure stability. Elsewhere on European markets on Tuesday, Amsterdam lost 0.93pc, Milan dropped 0.76 percent and Zurich declined by 0.41pc. In the Nordic region, Copenhagen sank 2.03 percent, Oslo was down 0.74 percent and Stockholm fell 1.76 percent. Back in Asia, Singapore shares slid 2.66 percent, Jakarta dipped 1.3 percent and Kuala Lumpur eased by 0.2 percent Merrill Lynch Chief North American Economist David Rosenberg said the US economic rescue package would provide only limited relief for markets. "We do not think it seriously changes the endgame " the US economy is in recession and likely to remain so," he said. "At best (it) merely removes what was looking like the worst case scenario: the entire collapse of the global financial system and a deep global depression." Rosenberg said the cost to the public purse of the plan was "akin to fighting another Iraq war." Global markets, reeling from months of uncertainty in the US subprime mortgage crisis, went into a tailspin for much of last week after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers and the government rescue of insurer AIG.