Asian stocks eked out modest gains at the open after a mixed U.S. session ahead of midterm elections. Treasury yields ticked higher and the dollar was steady.
Equities climbed in Japan, Australia and South Korea, while Hong Kong and China futures also tipped gains. Earlier, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. underpinned an advance in the S&P 500 Index after the billionaire stock-picker revealed he’d been buying back his firm’s own shares. Apple Inc. suppliers may come under pressure on a report the iPhone maker wouldn’t boost some production — the stock slumped and Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. also sank, weighing on the Nasdaq indexes.
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Politics 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. Investors generally like gridlock in a split decision because it means Democrats won’t be able to roll back tax cuts or reinstate key parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations.
Elsewhere, oil extended its decline to a seventh day as the U.S. defended the temporary waivers given to eight nations to keep buying Iranian crude after American sanctions against the OPEC producer snap back on Monday. The pound strengthened a third day in four on signs of further progress in Brexit negotiations. Markets in Singapore and Malaysia are closed for a holiday.
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 bid Reserve Bank of Australia November policy decision Tuesday Federal Reserve policy makers are expected to leave the main interest rate unchanged Thursday at their penultimate gathering of 2018 Trump plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of Armistice Day celebrations Nov. 11
And these are the main moves in markets:
Japan’s Topix index rose 0.5 percent as of 9:09 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 percent. FTSE China A50 futures rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong Hang Seng Index futures added 0.2 percent. S&P 500 Index futures were little changed. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.4 percent.
The Japanese yen was little changed at 113.24 per dollar. The offshore yuan was stable at 6.9163 per dollar after losing 0.2 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat. The euro traded at $1.1411. The British pound rose 0.1 percent, extending a 0.6 percent jump, to $1.3065.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 3.20 percent. Australia’s 10-year bond yield was little changed at 2.73 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4 percent to $62.86 a barrel. Gold was little changed at $1,230.82 an ounce.