Asian markets mixed as investors keep eye on U.S. midterm elections

Asian markets mixed as investors keep eye on U.S. midterm elections

Nikkei surrenders gain of more than 1% to end lower after back-and-forth session

Asian stock markets were mixed in a sloppy session Wednesday, cautiously reacting to U.S. midterm election results that eventually lifted stock futures in early U.S. trading.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ8, +0.64% rose sharply as it appeared likely Democrats would control the House, while Republicans extended gains in the Senate.

Amid thin trading volumes, Japanese stocks yo-yoed as U.S. election results arrived, up more than 1% at one point before the Nikkei NIK, -0.28% closed down nearly 0.3%.

After sliding early to ¥112.95, the U.S. dollar was above ¥113.40, dragging on export shares. Toyota 7203, +0.14% rose but ended off session highs, while Nintendo 7974, +1.84% jumped 1.8%, up some 3% earlier.

Hong Kong stocks showed little movement, with the Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.10% — which has risen in four of the past five sessions — up 0.1%. Sunny Optical 2382, -0.66% was down a further 0.7%, extending Tuesday’s slide for the smartphone lens maker while financials generally started with gains. Geely Automotive 0175, -4.94% shares sank after reporting it was unlikely to meet its 2018 sales targets.

Chinese stocks were lower, with both the Shanghai SHCOMP, -0.68% and Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.43% logging losses.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.52% showed moderate early gains but closed down 0.5%, with Samsung 005930, +0.57% up slightly following reports it would soon unveil a foldable smartphone.

Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.37% was firmer, as was New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, +0.44% .

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