Asia mixed in early trade as investors await US midterm election results

Asia markets were mixed in early trade Wednesday as investors awaited the results of the much-anticipated midterm elections in the U.S. that could potentially have significant implications.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.65 percent while the Topix index added 0.61 percent. In South Korea, the Kospi traded 0.48 percent lower while Australia’s ASX 200 was down 0.19 percent, with most sectors slipping.

Analysts said that markets were in a “holding pattern” ahead of the U.S. mid-term election results.

See the key election races that markets are watching as early indicators.

The results hold massive stakes for future U.S. economic policy — and potentially President Donald Trump‘s political fate.

The view of major firms like Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley is for a mixed outcome, with Democrats gaining control of the House and Republicans holding or even adding to their majority in the Senate. The market reaction to that scenario could be muted, but not so if there’s an upset, with either party staging a surprise victory and gaining total control of Congress.

The trading session in Asia comes after a higher close on Wall Street, where all three major indices advanced.

In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, last traded at 96.317 Wednesday morning during Asian hours. The index slipped from levels above 96.800 it reached last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.34 to the dollar while the Australian dollar fetched $0.7236.

Oil prices fell overnight after the U.S. granted top buyers of Iranian oil sanction waivers. U.S. crude was down 1.41 percent at $62.21 a barrel while global benchmark Brent declined 1.42 percent to $72.13.

— Reuters and CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to this report.

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