(Bloomberg) — Caution prevailed in markets Tuesday, with few standout moves as the U.S. midterm elections got underway and investors braced for any fallout. The S&P 500 Index edged higher as the dollar slipped.
U.S. stock gains were led by media and retail shares, while losses in banks blunted the advance. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid a second day. Oil traded near the lowest level in seven months as concerns over a supply crunch eased. Investors watched for developments on trade as China’s vice president said Beijing remained ready to discuss a deal with Washington.
Government bonds in Europe and the U.S. were mixed, but mostly little changed. The euro recovered from disappointing manufacturing data to gain, while the pound strengthened despite no apparent progress on Brexit negotiations. The dollar fell for a second day.
Political events loom large for traders as U.S. congressional elections, seen as a referendum on the policies of President Donald Trump, take place Tuesday. Democrats are expected to take control of the House of Representatives but fall short in the Senate. Meanwhile, investors have one eye on the U.K., where Theresa May is redoubling efforts to reach a Brexit deal.
“All eyes are on the U.S. midterm elections today, which have resulted in a slight risk-friendly bias to markets, but a dearth of activity,” said Kit Juckes, a London-based global fixed-income strategist at Societe Generale SA. Expectations for policy gridlock are “the corner-stone of what feels like a consensual view that growth will slow,” he wrote in a note.
Elsewhere, equities climbed in Japan, Australia, South Korea and Hong Kong, but underperformed in China. WTI oil fluctuated between small gains and losses.
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Here are some key events coming up this week:
On Tuesday, U.S. mid-term elections will determine whether Republicans keep control of Congress, and set the stage for Trump’s 2020 re-election bidFederal Reserve policy makers are expected to leave the main interest rate unchanged Thursday at their penultimate gathering of 2018
And these are the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 percent as of 9:37 a.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.2 percent, the most in more than a week.The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.1 percent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.1 percent.The euro advanced 0.2 percent to $1.1427, the strongest in two weeks.The Japanese yen was little changed at 113.23 per dollar.The British pound added 0.3 percent to $1.3083, the strongest in almost three weeks.The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index increased 0.1 percent.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 3.2 percent.Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.42 percent.Britain’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to 1.53 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3 percent to $63.27 a barrel.Copper was little changed at $2.757 a pound..Gold was little changed at $1,231.16 an ounce.
–With assistance from Harry Suhartono, Vildana Hajric, Andreea Papuc, Srinivasan Sivabalan and Christopher Anstey.
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