Asian shares meander, oil lower ahead of U.S. midterms vote

Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018 12:14AM EST

BANGKOK — Share prices are mixed in Asia as markets await the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.0 per cent to 22,104.37 and the Kospi in South Korea added 0.1 per cent to 2,078.75. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 1.1 per cent to 2,637.35 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.2 per cent lower to 25,894.70. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.3 per cent to 5,940.22. Shares fell in Taiwan but rose in Jakarta and Thailand. Markets were closed in Singapore for a public holiday.

ELECTION WATCH: Financial markets have been on a roller-coaster ride and the election Tuesday could roil things further. U.S. midterm elections, votes on lawmakers and other officials that fall between presidential elections, are often marked by low voter turnout. But political watchers are expecting voter angst over which party will control the U.S. House and Senate to drive more Americans to cast votes. Asia will be watching to see how the vote might influence U.S. trade and security policies.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “The markets are understandably jumpy given the next 48 hours of headline risk,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. But ultimately it’s unlikely any asset market will venture out of current boundaries given the plethora of risk events facing traders over the next day to two. There is absolutely no incentive to press the edges today whatsoever.”

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks mostly rose Monday as financial and health care companies finished higher, while Apple and other technology companies fell further. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which owns GEICO and other insurance businesses, led the rally in financial stocks after it reported strong results over the weekend. The S&P 500 index added 0.6 per cent

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