SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks in Asia were mixed on Tuesday with strong gains in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.
Chinese stocks were softer however at the close. The focus of attention was the U.S. midterm elections which could see U.S. President Donald Trump's Republican parfty lose control of the House of Representatives.
The Australian All Ordinaries at the close of trading was ahead 53.90 points or 0.91% at 5,958.70.
At the close of trading in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was ahead 248.76 points or 1.14% at 22,147.75.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng reversed earlier losses to finish strongly. At the end of the day it was up 186.57 points or 0.72% at 26,120.96.
The Shanghai Composite was down 6.0742 points or 0.23% at 2,654.35.
In foreign exchange markets there was little movement. The U.S. dollar was a tad stronger against the euro at 1.1404.
The British pound was unchanged at 1.3053 while the Japanese yen edged a little lower to 113.37.
The Swiss franc was quoted at 1.00458, and the Canadian dollar at 1.3107.
The Australian dollar benefitted from an RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) announcement that it was leaving the official interest rate at 1.5%. It had been anticipated there may have been a 25 basis points cut due to falling housing prices and lacklustre inflation figures.
The Australian dollar firmed to 0.7218. The New Zealand dollar was a tad weaker at 0.6656, but still firmly bid.
Overnight on Wall Street, industrial stocks rose on Monday, while technology stocks were under water largely due to a continued sell-off in Apple shares.
The re-introduction Monday of punishing sanctions on Iran boosted demand for energy stocks.
Berkshire Hathaway shot higher after the company on Saturday reported a doubling of its profit for the 30 September 2018 quarter to $6.88 billion, up from $3.44 billion a year earlier.
“The market would’ve been up a lot more if it wasn’t for technology. It seems like people are trying to hedge in case there is a relief rally after the (midterm) elections,” Aaron Jett, vice president for global equity research at Bel Air Investment Advisors in Los Angeles told Reuters Thomson
“If the Democrats win, Trump could be more likely to want to get some kind of win, so he might be willing to do more deals with China,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of this month.
At the close of trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrials were up 190.87 points or 0.76% at 25,461.70.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 added 15.25 points or 0.56% to 2,738.31.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite dipped 28.14 points or 0.38% to 7,328.85.