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Pictures | Mon Dec 31, 2012 | 4:24pm EST

Equities rally as U.S. "cliff" deal nears; oil up

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at monitors as a television set shows Japan's incoming Prime Minister and the leader of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Shinzo Abe speaking in Tokyo December 26, 2012. The yen fell to a 20-month low against the dollar on Wednesday, buoying the benchmark Nikkei stock average, as Japan ushers in a new prime minister eager to pursue drastic stimulus steps to drive the country's economy out of deflation. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at monitors as a television set shows Japan's incoming Prime Minister and the leader of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Shinzo Abe speaking in Tokyo December 26, 2012. The yen fell to a 20-month...more

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at monitors as a television set shows Japan's incoming Prime Minister and the leader of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Shinzo Abe speaking in Tokyo December 26, 2012. The yen fell to a 20-month low against the dollar on Wednesday, buoying the benchmark Nikkei stock average, as Japan ushers in a new prime minister eager to pursue drastic stimulus steps to drive the country's economy out of deflation. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
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A visitor walks near the logo of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A visitor walks near the logo of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A visitor walks near the logo of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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Traders are pictured at their desk in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Remote/Pawel Kopczynski

Traders are pictured at their desk in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Remote/Pawel Kopczynski

Traders are pictured at their desk in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Remote/Pawel Kopczynski
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