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Global Shares Rise on Tuesday          01/20 05:48

   Global shares were mostly higher ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration as U.S. 
president Wednesday, though worries about surging coronavirus cases sapped the 
Japanese market's early gains.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mostly higher ahead of Joe Biden's 
inauguration as U.S. president Wednesday, though worries about surging 
coronavirus cases sapped the Japanese market's early gains.

   France's CAC 40 added 0.2% to 5,607.84 in early trading, while Germany's DAX 
rose 0.2% to 13,848.56. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% to 6,722.42. U.S. 
shares were set to drift moderately higher as Dow futures inched up less than 
0.1% to 30,841.0. S&P 500 futures were up 0.3% at 3,800.12.

   Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4% to finish at 28,523.26. 
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,770.40, while South Korea's Kospi edged 
up 0.7% to 3,114.55. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.1% to 29,962.47, while the 
Shanghai Composite rose 0.5% to 3,583.09.

   Hopes are growing that Biden's planned stimulus for the American economy as 
well as measures to curb the pandemic will boost regional markets.

   While many Asian nations have fared better in the pandemic than European 
countries and the U.S., worries still run high. Main urban areas in Japan, 
including Tokyo, are under a state of emergency, with evening dining at 
restaurants discouraged. Critics say that's not enough, as deaths related to 
COVID-19 have been rising. A vaccine rollout has not begun in Japan.

   "Chinese New Year is less than a month away. With COVID infection numbers 
already on the rise again in parts of Asia, there are concerns about what the 
holiday season may mean for efforts to contain the virus's spread," said 
Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.

   Markets have been rising on enthusiasm about a coming economic recovery as 
more people are inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines and Washington gets set to 
try for another round of economic stimulus.

   Janet Yellen, Biden's nominee to be Treasury secretary, told the Senate 
Finance Committee during her confirmation hearing that the incoming 
administration would focus on winning quick passage of its $1.9 trillion 
pandemic relief plan.

   "More must be done," Yellen said. "Without further action, we risk a longer, 
more painful recession now --- and long-term scarring of the economy later."

   The plan would include $1,400 cash payments for most Americans. Democrats 
are also pushing for faster rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, a higher minimum wage 
for workers and enhanced benefits for laid-off workers. The hope is that such 
stimulus can carry the economy until later this year, when more widespread 
vaccinations get life returning to some semblance of normal.

   "If most of this is implemented, it does suggest significant pickup in 
economic growth as we head through to the fourth quarter of this year," said 
David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds.

   In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 31 cents to $53.29 a barrel. 
Brent crude, the international standard, rose 35 cents to $56.25.

   In currency trading, the U.S. dollar slipped to 103.76 yen from 103.99 yen. 
The euro cost $1.2134, up from $1.2115.

 
 
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