Stocks rise

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    TOKYO/NEW YORK – Asian shares and US stock futures rose on Wednesday as governments around the world looked poised to boost spending to help economies recover from the coronavirus and vaccine roll-out programs accelerated.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.58 percent. Australian stocks gained 0.92 percent. Shares in China fell 0.03 percent.

    Japan’s Nikkei added 0.9 percent. Shares in Seoul rose by 0.79 percent.

    E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.43 percent.

    Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.53 percent, German DAX futures gained 0.41 percent, and FTSE futures rose 0.38 percent, pointing to a bright start to European trading.

    Wall Street rallied on Tuesday on renewed hopes for US President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill as the Senate took steps to allow Democrats to pass Biden’s package without Republican support.

    The US Treasury yield curve continued to steepen in Asian trading, reflecting expectations for more fiscal spending and growing economic optimism.

    The roll-out of vaccines in many countries is gathering pace, earnings season in the United States and Japan has so far been favourable, and oil prices are at their highest in a year, which are all positive signs for the global economy.

    “All the ingredients for a rapid recovery from Q2 onwards are getting sweetly baked into the reopening party cake,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi.