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Global Markets: Stocks edge up, dollar steady, as U.S. votes in midterms

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock markets edged up modestly on Tuesday, with trading thin in the United States, while the dollar and Treasury yields held steady, as Americans went to the polls in a pivotal midterm election that could shift the balance of power in

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.12 percent.

The elections mark the first major test of Donald Trump's polarizing personality and hardline policies on taxes, trade and immigration. If his loses control of the House of Representatives, some of his power could be curbed.

"Unlike the U.S. or the U.K.'s Brexit referendum, the upcoming U.S. (midterm) elections are not a binary event," said Yasuo Sakuma, at

"So it's unlikely to send stocks significantly in one direction, apart from initial quick reactions."

European shares slipped on disappointing corporate earnings and caution ahead of the U.S. vote. Politics weighed on Italian stocks, and prices fell as investors digested exemptions to sanctions on Iranian [.N] The pan-European 600 index lost 0.20 percent

On Wall Street, the rose 111.62 points, or 0.44 percent, to 25,573.32, the gained 8.92 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,747.23 and the added 28.70 points, or 0.39 percent, to 7,357.56.

"With the Democrats favourites to take control of the House and the Republicans the Senate, the next couple of years may be far more difficult for Trump," said Craig Erlam, a at in

"When you consider how markets have done since his election victory - granted, primarily on the back of tax reforms - it's easy to see why this may not be the most investor-friendly result."

The index has climbed 28 percent since Trump's election in November 2016, more than under any other in the past 64 years.

With so much at stake, currency market moves were tight. The dollar hardly moved against the euro and gained some ground against the yen as dealers kept their options open.

Sterling erased earlier losses in volatile trading on growing hopes of a Brexit deal breakthrough after a British cabinet meeting.

The dollar index, tracking the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.07 percent, with the euro up 0.1 percent to $1.1417.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.16 percent versus the greenback at 113.39 per dollar.

Italian shares were essentially flat, despite frayed nerves there after called on to change its budget to conform with rules at a meeting late on Monday.

prices sank, with U.S. crude futures sliding to a seven-month low, as said it had so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs to after granted sanction waivers to top buyers of Iranian oil.

U.S. crude fell 2.74 percent to $61.37 per barrel and Brent was last at $71.23, down 2.65 percent on the day.

"The details on the sanctions waivers are trickling out, and it appears much more Iranian oil will remain on the market in the near-term than previously thought," said John Kilduff, a at Management in New York.

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

(Additional reporting by Marc Jones, Helen Reid, and in London; Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Kate Duguid and Stephanie Kelly in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 23:03 IST