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Workers check aluminum pistons for vehicle engines on a production line at a machine manufacturing factory in Binzhou, in eastern China’s Shandong province, on Dec. 15, 2020.

AFP via Getty Images

Global stocks advanced on Monday on the first day of the new year, buoyed by optimism the world economy will heal as vaccination programs get rolled out.

The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.7% in Tokyo, but the Hang Seng rose 0.9% and the Kospi Composite rallied 2.5% in Seoul. South Korean exports jumped 13% in December, according to data released on Sunday.

European stocks jumped after losing ground in 2020, with the U.K. FTSE 100 leaping 3% in the first trading day outside of the European Union. Other European bourses also gained ground.

The dollar fell to the lowest level since April 2018, while U.S. stock futures rose.

“The year has started very much the same as the previous year ended: risk up and the dollar down,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi.

In the U.K., the first inoculations of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford started, while the coronavirus situation there is worsening, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the weekend suggesting tightening restrictions were likely.

Traders also will be positioning ahead of the two Georgia Senate races on Tuesday, which will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Manufacturing data were being released globally, with a measure in China slipping while eurozone output rose, according to purchasing managers indexes. Goods output has largely recovered while the services side of the economy remains mired by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shares of U.K. gaming company Entain jumped 27%, after rejecting the bid proposal from MGM Resorts that valued the company at £8.09 billion, or about $11 billion.