Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday as investors awaited results from the US midterm elections, which could have an impact on the global economy and trade.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.3 per cent in morning trading to 22,428.20. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 per cent higher to 5,881.40. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5 per cent at 2,100.47. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.6 per cent to 26,284.13, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.1 per cent to 2,656.56.

US futures were higher, with the contract for the Dow up 0.3 per cent at 25,721.00 and that for the S&P 500 adding 0.2 per cent to 2,764.30.

The results of the midterm elections in the US are expected during the Asian day. The outcome will determine control of the House of Representatives and Senate. In addition, 36 governorships are being contested along with other state and local positions. The vote could affect US trade, economic and security policies.

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The S&P 500 index rose 17.14 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,755.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 173.31 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 25,635.01. The Nasdaq composite picked up 47.11 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7,375.96. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 8.59 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,556.10.

"The real question is whether the outcome of the mid-terms will in any way diminish Trump's influence on the Congress, and whether his executive reach on global trade and other multilateral engagements will be reined in," Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

"Unless Democrats usurp with a sweeping victory, this appears unlikely," it said.

- AP