Asian stocks fell on Tuesday amid uncertainty about Senate runoffs in Georgia, which could have a big impact on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s economic policies.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.34%, pulling back from a record high hit in the previous session. Australian stocks fell 0.44%. Chinese shares erased early losses and rose 0.26%.
Japanese shares lost 0.25% after a media report that the government will curb business hours in Tokyo and surrounding cities from Thursday.
U.S. S&P 500 stock futures edged up 0.24%.
Oil futures rose slightly in cautious trade as investors awaited a meeting later on Tuesday where major crude producers are set to assess output levels for February.
In the United States, control of the Senate is at stake with Tuesday’s dual runoff elections in Georgia.
“2021 starts with a bang with pivotal political and economic news for markets to digest. The undisputed highlight will be the result of the Senate seat run-off elections in Georgia,” James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, wrote in a research memo.