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Asian Markets End Mixed Ahead Of U.S. Elections

Asian markets ended on a mixed note on Tuesday after a cautious session ahead of the U.S. midterm elections and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

Stocks in mainland China edged lower, with software and telecom sections seeing notable declines. The Shanghai Composite Index edged down 6.07 points or 0.2 percent to 2,659.36. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 186.57 points or 0.7 percent to 26,120.96.

The Japanese markets showed a strong move to the upside, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index jumping 248.76 points or 1.1 percent to 22,147.75.

Chiyoda Corp. and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma both surged up by over 7 percent. Daiichi Sankyo, Toyota Tsusho Corp., Marubeni Corp. and Sojitz Corp. also advanced by 4 to 5 percent.

Meanwhile, Pioneer Corp., Dainippon Screen Manufacturing and Shimizhu Corp. lost 4 to 5 percent. Softbank Corp., TDK, Tokyo Electron and Olympus Corp. were also among the prominent losers.

Australian stocks also ended notably higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed up 57.10 points or 1 percent to 5,875.20 while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 53.90 points or 0.9 percent at 5,958.70.

The Reserve Bank of Australia left its benchmark interest rate on hold at a record low for the 26th consecutive meeting. The board of the Reserve Bank of Australia voted to maintain the cash rate at 1.5 percent. The interest rate has been at the current level since August of 2016.

"Taking account of the available information, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time," the bank said in a statement.

Policymakers observed that the low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Although they expect further progress in the reduction of unemployment and inflation returning to target, the bank noted progress is likely to be gradual.

Incitec Pivot, Bellamys Australia, Syrah Resources and Western Areas turned in some of the market's best performances on the day.

Shares of Appen Limited, Skycity Entertainment Group and CYBG lost more than 2 percent, while Infigen Energy shed about 1.9%.

Meanwhile, stocks in Singapore declined sharply, with the benchmark Straits Times Index plunging 1.8 percent. Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan also declined, albeit with less pronounced losses.

In economic news, average household spending in Japan was down 1.6 percent year-over-year in September at 271,273 yen, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That was well shy of expectations for an increase of 1.5 percent and down sharply from the 2.8 percent gain in August.

South Korea had a current account surplus of $10.83 billion in September, up from $8.44 billion in August, data from the Bank of Korea showed.

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