Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed as investors await results of U.S. election

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A pedestrian walks past an electronic board displaying the Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on Wednesday.

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Asian markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, as investors weighed the results of the U.S. presidential election.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, +2.04% rose 1.9% and South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.62% advanced 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, -0.06% was flat, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.13% slipped 0.1%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +1.03%, Singapore STI, +0.61% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.13% rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.07% dipped 0.1%.

Many investors appeared to be in wait-and-see mode as the U.S. election was still too close to call, and it appeared likely not to be decided for another day or more.

“The only thing I feel 100% confident about is the USA is a nation divided, and regardless of who wins the White House, the president will be left with a monumental task to unite the country as it continues to tear itself apart,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi, in a note.

In Hong Kong and mainland China, caution appeared to prevail as investors considered the implications of a last-minute decision by Chinese regulators to suspend the planned trading debut for shares in Ant Group, the fin-tech spin-off of e-commerce giant Alibaba BABA, -8.13% 9988, -7.27%, after what was expected to be a nearly $35 billion initial public offering.

The decision late Tuesday caused the plans for trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong to be put off due to what the Chinese stock market watchdog said were “major issues” with Ant Group’s regulatory compliance.

Benchmark U.S. crude  CLZ20, +2.44%  rose to $38.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude  BRN00, +2.36%,  the international standard, jumped to $40.59 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar  USDJPY, +0.43%  gained to 104.89 Japanese yen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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