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Global Markets: Asian shares waver as investors brace for U.S. elections

Reuters  |  TOKYO 

By Hideyuki Sano

(Reuters) - Asian shares wavered on Tuesday with sentiment tempered ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, the first major electoral test of Donald Trump's big tax cuts and hostile trade policies.

MSCI's broadest index of shares outside edged down 0.1 percent, weighed by a fall in Chinese shares and while Japan's Nikkei managed to gain 1.0 percent.

Shares in Apple suppliers, such as Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, eased after lost 2.8 percent following a report in the Nikkei newspaper that Apple had told assemblers to halt plans for additional production lines dedicated to the XR.

On Wall Street, the gained 0.56 percent, with financials such as supported by strong earnings.

In markets, crude prices wobbled near multi-month lows after the granted eight countries temporary waivers allowing them to continue buying from as formally imposed punitive sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Ahead of Tuesday's U.S. elections, investors generally expect opposition Democrats to take over the of Representatives while Trump's is tipped to retain the

While political gridlock between the and could hinder Trump's pro-business agenda and raise political instability, including hearings centring on the administration, some analysts say such an outcome may have already been priced in by investors.

If the Republicans retain their majority, global stocks are likely to rally on hopes of more tax cuts.

Trump said last month his administration planned to produce a resolution calling for a 10 percent tax cut for middle-income households.

"Everyone still remembers strong equity rallies after Trump was elected two years ago. So initially stock markets will gain," said Norihiro Fujito, at

"But further tax cuts would boost already large fiscal deficits and push the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield above its October high almost instantly. Given rises in U.S. bond yields triggered a correction in equities last month, any rally in stocks is unlikely to last long," he added.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield stood at 3.203 percent, maintaining most of its gains following Friday's strong U.S. jobs and wage data and staying not far from its 7 1/2-year peak of 3.261 percent hit on Oct. 9.

"Global equities have recovered after their fall in February, which was triggered by rise in U.S. yields. But this time a recovery will likely be capped because now markets do not have the support they had back in February from tame inflation and the economic boost from Trump's tax cuts," said Shuji Shirota, at in

Many investors also expect Trump to continue to take a hard line on trade, regardless of the outcome of the elections.

"The impact of trade war will start to appear in U.S. economic data in coming months," Shirota added.

But some other analysts noted that U.S. equities tended to rally after midterm elections, possibly because markets tend to price in political risks ahead of the elections.

In markets, U.S. Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 0.3 percent to $62.86 a barrel after hitting a seven-month low of $62.52 on Monday.

Brent crude futures dropped 0.3 percent to $72.93 a barrel, near Friday's 2 1/2-month low of $72.16.

Both have slid more than 15 percent since hitting four-year highs in early October.

Moves in major currencies were modest.

The euro traded at $1.1408, about one cent above this year's low of $1.1301 touched on Aug. 15.

The yen changed hands at 113.28 per dollar, near its three-week low of 113.385 marked last Wednesday.

The British pound touched a two-week high of $1.3070 and last stood at $1.3058.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by and Eric Meijer)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 12:24 IST