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Global Shares Higher on Monday         03/01 05:28

   Global shares rose Monday, lifted by hopes President Joe Biden's stimulus 
package will be enacted and by bargain-hunting after sell offs last week.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares rose Monday, lifted by hopes President Joe 
Biden's stimulus package will be enacted and by bargain-hunting after sell offs 
last week.

   France's CAC 40 added 1.5% in early trading to 5,788.93, while Germany's DAX 
edged up 1.3% to 13,964.06. Britain's FTSE 100 jumped 1.6% to 6,590.00. U.S. 
shares were set for gains. with the future for the Dow industrials at 
31,249.50, up 1.1%. The S&P 500 future was up 1.2% at 3,854.38.

   Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 2.4% to finish at 29,663.50. Australia's 
S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.7% to 6,789.60.

   Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.6% to 29,452.57, while the Shanghai 
Composite rose 1.2% to 3,551.40, despite a survey showing slightly weaker 
manufacturing indicators for the month of February.

   South Korean markets were closed for a national holiday. But the government 
reported that exports rose 9.5% in February from a year earlier and imports 
jumped nearly 14%, in signs the economy is picking up momentum.

   A manufacturing survey for Japan showed an expansion in February for the 
first time since April 2019. The au Jibun purchasing managers index reading of 
51.4 --- on a scale of 1-100, where 50 and above show expansion --- was a sharp 
improvement from the 49.8 level registered in January.

   The survey showed improvements in many areas including higher sales and 
orders and higher exports, reflecting improved demand in overseas markets, 
especially China.

   Asia's export-reliant economies are counting on a healthy American economy 
to boost trade, which has tended to stagnate during the pandemic. As the 
region's recovery begins to take off, vaccine rollouts are also gradually 
getting started in most Asian nations.

   Worries about the economy, as well as about COVID-19, are still relatively 
widespread in Japan, which is seeing yet another wave of coronavirus cases. 
Some urban areas, like Osaka, have lifted measures to help prevent the spread 
of infections, but the Tokyo area remains under a "state of emergency," focused 
on having restaurants, bars and other businesses close at 8 p.m. Japan has 
never had a lockdown.

   The U.S. House of Representatives approved Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic 
relief bill on Friday and it now goes to the Senate for approval. The bill 
infuses cash across the struggling economy to individuals, businesses, schools, 
states and cities battered by COVID-19.

   The U.S. stimulus bill would include yet another round of one-time payments 
to most Americans, including an expansion of other refundable tax credits like 
the child tax credit, and additional aid to state and local governments to 
combat the pandemic.

   "It is still fundamentally good news that the sell-offs' economic 
underpinnings --- increasing mobility, inflation, and US stimulus --- are still 
intact, with global vaccinations rolling out faster than expected," said 
Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.

   In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.12 to $62.62 a barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $2.03 on Friday 
to $61.50 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.18 to 
$65.60 a barrel.

   In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched up to 106.62 Japanese yen from 
106.56 yen. The euro cost $1.2068, down from $1.2074.

 
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