By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO (Reuters) - Wall Street stock futures ticked down slightly while Asian shares held very tight ranges early Wednesday as investors awaited the results of U.S. midterm elections, which could see Republicans lose their grip on Congress.
U.S. S&P500 futures
Voter turnout in national elections, normally lower when the presidency is not at stake, could be the highest for a midterm election in 50 years.
The opposition Democrats are favoured by election forecasters to pick up the 23 seats they need to gain a majority in the House, but have slimmer chances of gaining control of the Senate, opinion polls show.
"We, like many other market players, expect Democrats to take the House and to have a split Congress. That should mean Trump won't be able to push for further tax cuts and could lead to a risk-off mood in markets," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
"But that is probably already factored in, so I would think any additional selling in stocks would be limited," he said.
Many investors also expect Trump to continue to take a hard line on tariffs, which he can impose without Congressional approval. That keeps alive worries about a trade war between China and the United States.
Trump's massive tax cut, enacted in December, and a spending agreement reached in February have helped lift the U.S. economy, but they have also widened U.S. federal budget deficit.
As a result, Treasury supply has been growing, pushing U.S. bond yields higher.
The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield stood at 3.211 percent
Oil prices were soft after a 2 percent fall the previous day, with U.S. crude futures hitting an eight-month low as Washington granted sanction waivers to top buyers of Iranian oil and as Iran said it has so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs to.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
Major currencies hardly budged with the euro little changed at $1.1420
The British pound
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Sam Holmes)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)