US voters go to the polls in critical midterm elections on Tuesday

New York (AFP) - Global stock markets mostly moved higher on Tuesday as Americans headed to the polls in critical midterm elections.

The dollar dipped against the euro, while Chinese demand concerns helped push oil prices down nearly one percent.

Europe’s main markets ended in the green after starting mixed, with Frankfurt adding 1.3 percent while London and Paris scored more modest gains.

Markets also climbed on Wall Street, with the Dow adding over 1.0 percent, while the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq closed higher as well.

“Investors are hoping for a political gridlock. That would make it difficult to pass radical policy changes,” said Fawad Razaqzada market analyst with City Index and

Polls opened Tuesday in crucial US elections that will shape the political fortunes of US President Joe Biden.

Biden’s Democrats are facing a gargantuan struggle to hang onto control of Congress, after a race the president has cast as a “defining” moment for US democracy.

Polls show Republicans are likely to win at least one house of the legislature – and some see the prospect of split control in Washington as a scenario that lessens the risk of policy uncertainty.

“Consensus is that investors prefer political deadlock as it prevents any significant shifts in policy,” added Scope Markets analyst James Hughes.

“With that looking like a real possibility, the real market turbulence may appear later in the week.”

Politics aside, investors also are waiting on US inflation data due out Thursday for a pointer on the path for interest rates ahead.

In Asia, the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets sank as speculation about a rollback of China’s strict zero-Covid policies fueled market volatility, but Tokyo ended 1.3 percent ahead.

Elsewhere, in the world of crypto finance, Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency platform, tweeted it has agreed to buy its financially-troubled rival

Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao said the group had signed a non-binding letter of intent “to fully acquire,” which is enduring “a significant liquidity crunch.”

- Key figures around 2130 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 1.0 percent at 33,160.83 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.6 percent at 3,828.11 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.5 percent at 10,616.20 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,306.14 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 6,441.50 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.2 percent at 13,688.75 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.8 percent at 3,739.28 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.3 percent at 27,872.11 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.2 percent at 16,557.31 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,064.49 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1544 from $1.1513 on Monday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0076 from $1.0023

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 145.58 from 146.68 yen

Euro/pound: UP at 87.26 pence from 87.03 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 3.1 percent at $88.91 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.6 percent at $95.36 per barrel