Stocks advanced in most global markets on Thursday, including those in Europe, as traders waited to see details of President-elect Joe Biden’s plan for helping the US economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Benchmarks rose in London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong but fell in Shanghai.
Germany's DAX picked up 0.4% to 13,992.29, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.3% to 5,676.79 and Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 6,778.32.
While across the pond, the future contract for the S&P 500 crept 0.2% higher.
Biden is set to be inaugurated as president, replacing Donald Trump, on January 20 after last week saw deadly riots by pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol as congress was set to certify the Democrat's election victory.
Investors appear to have mostly been looking past political turmoil in the US, focusing instead on expectations for a stronger economy ahead.
Biden is expected to release details of his plan to support the economy later on Thursday and they could include bigger cash payments to most Americans.
World markets have rushed higher recently in anticipation that economies will recover with the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and more stimulus from the Democrat-led administration.
Markets got a boost from China's report that its exports rose in 2020 despite pressure from the coronavirus and a tariff war with Washington.
Exports increased by 3.6% over 2019 to $2.6 trillion (€2.4 trillion), an improvement on the previous year’s 0.5% gain. Imports edged down 1.1% to just over $2 trillion (€1.6 trillion), but growth was strong in the second half after China became the first major economy to revive following the pandemic.
Stronger growth in the world's two largest economies would bode well for the rest of the world, especially export-dependent nations in Asia.