Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday, ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration as U.S. president. Japan's benchmark lost early gains as worries grew about the surge in coronavirus cases.
U.S. stocks rose on the day of U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 116 points or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5%. The former Federal Reserve Chair’s testimony, which concluded midafternoon, gave Yellen the opportunity to sell President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan.
Shares advanced in Asia on Tuesday as the coming changing of the guard in the U.S. raised hopes for more support for the economy and more aggressive measures to fight the pandemic.