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Asian Markets Surge as Hopes Rise on Passage of Massive US Economic Stimulus Bill

People wearing protective masks watch an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm, Feb. 8, 2021, in Tokyo.

Asian markets soared Monday as investors are increasingly optimistic about the chance of U.S. lawmakers approving a massive coronavirus recovery bill, and recent strong corporate earnings reports.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index finished 2.1% higher. The S&P/ASX index in Australia rose 0.5%. Shanghai’s Composite index gained just over one percent, and Taiwan’s TSEC index was up 0.6%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.2% in late afternoon trading, while Mumbai’s Sensex is 1.2% higher.

South Korea’s KOSPI index closed down 0.9%.

In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,810.80 an ounce, down 0.1%. U.S. crude oil is selling at $57.51 per barrel, up 1.1%, and Brent crude oil is up 1.2%, selling at $60.07 per barrel.

All three major U.S. indices are trending higher in futures trading.