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Asian shares meander, oil lower ahead of US midterms vote

November 6, 2018
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A man walks by the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the Korea Exchange in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Share prices are mixed in Asia as markets await the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

BANGKOK (AP) — 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 percent to 22,104.37 and the Kospi in South Korea added 0.1 percent to 2,078.75. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 1.1 percent to 2,637.35 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.2 percent lower to 25,894.70. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.3 percent 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 percent to 2,738.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent to 25,461.70, but the Nasdaq composite sank 0.4 percent, to 7,328.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slipped 0.47 point to 1,547.51.

CHINA-U.S. TRADE: Keeping hopes alight for a resolution of a punishing trade war between the two biggest economies, a Chinese vice president, Wang Qishan, said at a conference in Singapore that Beijing is ready to discuss issues with the Trump administration. That followed positive assessments by both Chinese officials and President Donald Trump of a phone conversation last week between Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 13 cents to $62.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 4 cents to $63.10 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 27 cents to $72.90 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.32 yen from 113.20 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1403 from $1.1408.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP

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