Asian stock indices were mixed on Tuesday as the U.S. prepared to go to the polls and as still-lackluster Chinese trade data eased worries about an abrupt downturn in the world's second largest economy.
U.S. futures were down marginally, with the Dow Jones off 0.05%, the S&P 500 down 0.08% and the Nasdaq 100 down 0.12%.
Chinese trade figures showed dollar-denominated exports and imports continued to fall in October but at a slower pace than in September. Exports were down 7.3% after a 10% tumble last month, and imports fell 1.4% after a 1.9% contraction in September. Both results were slightly worse than consensus forecasts. However, in renminbi terms imports rose by 3.2%, while exports fell by the same amount.
"After a disappointing set of trade figures for September, the improved data for October are reassuring. That said, with both global and domestic growth unlikely to accelerate much further, the medium-term outlook for Chinese trade remains challenging, " said Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard.
The CSI 300 composite index was up 0.41% at 3,370.26 and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng rose 0.32% to 22,874.06. Real estate stocks stabilized after the sector plunged on Monday on news of a new sales tax, with New World Development, the biggest decliner on Monday, up 0.5%.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.03% at 17,171.38 and the Topix closed up 0.05% at 1,363.49. Suzuki Motor posted another day of gains after lifting its full-year profit forecast on Friday. The stock was up 3.5%. But Japan Steel Works plunged 12% after reporting first-half results.
Brent crude was recently up 0.11% at $46.20 a barrel, while spot gold rose 0.25% to $1,284.85 an ounce.
The dollar was recently down 0.11% against the yen at ¥104.3500.