SINGAPORE – Asian shares rose and the dollar wobbled on Wednesday as investors awaited US inflation data as well as the results of the US midterm elections that could signify a power shift in Washington.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.45 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2 percent and Australian stocks gained 0.70 percent.
On Tuesday, all three major US stock indexes notched their third straight session in the green.
Results of the US midterm elections will decide whether the Democrats lose or retain congressional control halfway through President Joe Biden's term, with investors expecting Republican gains.
A split Congress would diminish the outlook for fiscal support measures, leading to investors to expect the Fed to sooner become less aggressive in raising interest rates, strategists at Saxo Markets wrote. They added that such an outcome could spark an equities rally and would likely put downward pressure on the dollar.
Initial results showed that several Republican senators had easily won re-election but the final outcome probably will not be known any time soon.
In the crypto world, bitcoin fell nearly 1 percent on Wednesday after sliding 10 percent following crypto exchange Binance's announcement that it had signed a nonbinding agreement on Tuesday to acquire rival exchange FTX in the face of an apparent liquidity crunch.
US inflation data scheduled for release on Thursday will also be on investors' mind, with economists forecasting a decline in both the monthly and yearly core numbers to 0.5 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.
Fed funds futures have priced in a 67 percent chance of a 50-basis-point rate hike in December, and a 33 percent probability of a 75-basis-point increase.
In the currency market, the US dollar has been under downward pressure from bets on the Federal Reserve easing back on interest rate rises.
The dollar last traded at $1.1006 per euro and bought 145.20 yen . /FRX
Oil prices were mostly unchanged in early trade on Wednesday, after sliding 3 percent in the previous session on demand worries.
US crude recently fell 0.01 percent to $88.90 per barrel and Brent was at $95.40, up 0.04 percent on the day.