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FirstFT: US midterm results roll in

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Polls have closed in more than half of all US states in closely watched midterm elections set to reshape Washington and fire the starting gun on the 2024 presidential election cycle.

Tens of millions of Americans flocked to cast their ballots yesterday, in a vote to determine which political party controls Congress for the next two years and to serve as a referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency so far.

According to final polling averages, Republicans are expected to win enough seats in the House of Representatives to regain control of the lower chamber of Congress — which they will use to stymie Biden’s agenda and launch investigations into his administration. Follow the Financial Times’ live midterm elections results tracker and live blog for the latest.

Former president Donald Trump predicted a “great night” for Republicans, as Biden warned Democrats faced a “tough” battle ahead, saying: “I think we’ll win the Senate, and I think the House is tougher.”

US stocks rose modestly yesterday as Americans cast their votes, with Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 adding 0.6 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rising 0.4 per cent ahead of inflation data this week. Equities traded lower and currency markets were steady today in Asia.

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1. FTX on brink of collapse The crypto industry has been shaken by the near collapse of one of the largest crypto exchanges. FTX, founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, clinched a rescue deal with arch-rival Binance after a surge in customer withdrawals sparked a liquidity crisis. For the latest crypto ructions, premium subscribers can sign up to our Cryptofinance newsletter.

2. Uzbekistan lobbies EU to lift sanctions on Alisher Usmanov Tashkent is lobbying the bloc to lift sanctions on Alisher Usmanov and his sister as the Uzbek-Russian billionaire struggles to disentangle himself from the fallout of Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Usmanov was one of 26 Russians sanctioned by the EU in the immediate days after the invasion.

3. TikTok slashes global revenue targets by at least $2bn The ByteDance-owned platform has cut its worldwide revenue targets for 2022 as it struggles to meet ambitious goals, becoming the latest tech giant to be hit by a global online spending slump. The decision comes as its US operations undergo a big restructuring in response to a slowing economy and depressed digital advertising spend.

4. Jeremy Hunt set to scrap Liz Truss’s investment zones plan The former UK prime minister’s proposal for low-tax investment zones to boost economic growth are due to be axed by the chancellor in next week’s Autumn Statement, according to government officials.

5. Evelyn de Rothschild dies aged 91 The British banker, who expanded the family bank and advised the late Queen Elizabeth II on financial matters, has died “after a short illness”, the family said yesterday.

Evelyn de Rothschild died on Monday at his London home, his family said © Bloomberg

The day ahead

COP27 Finance ministers meet at the UN climate summit in Egypt to reflect their commitment to action on the environment. US climate envoy John Kerry is also expected to announce his proposal for a power-sector credits system.

EU budget rules The bloc releases the blueprint for an overhaul that would allow member states to agree more realistic debt-reduction paths with the commission, while creating extra space for public investment.

Northern Ireland The UK is set to outline whether elections for Stormont should take place early in the new year or coincide with local polls in May after delaying the vote to give space for UK-EU negotiations on post-Brexit trading arrangements.

Ithaca Energy debuts The North Sea oil and gas explorer and producer starts trading on the London Stock Exchange, seeking to raise as much as $375mn and testing investor appetite for a rare fossil fuel flotation.

Corporate earnings Marks and Spencer presents its first results under new management after the retirement of former chief executive Steve Rowe. His replacement, Stuart Machin, has already set out to accelerate the overhaul of store estate and redouble cost-cutting efforts. Adidas, Bank of Ireland, Commerzbank and ITV also report quarterly earnings.

What else we’re reading

Delay only makes climate action more urgent We have a global challenge that can only be solved with huge investments, notably in new energy systems. But our capital markets are fragmented by country risk, writes Martin Wolf. The only solution is for rich countries to underwrite a substantial part of that risk.

Mark Carney clings to his dream of a greener finance industry One year after COP26 in Glasgow, where the former Bank of England governor pledged that $130tn — four in every 10 dollars under management globally — would be deployed to limit global warming, his alliance risks falling short of expectations and promises. Here’s why.

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Europe should not be complacent on energy security Fears that Europe might run short of energy reserves to get households and businesses through colder months have been assuaged by rapid action to build up stocks, boost efficiency and procure alternate supplies. But getting through winter 2023 could still be a great challenge, writes our editorial board.

Putin’s nuclear threats hint at an electromagnetic pulse strike Russia’s threats of escalation against Ukraine have been interpreted as a veiled reference to the use of nuclear weapons. But there is another tool it may be considering: a tactical electromagnetic pulse strike, designed to create a powerful pulse of energy which short-circuits electrical equipment, writes Roger Pardo-Maurer, a US Army Special Forces veteran.

Mining isn’t living up to its own hype Investment in oil extraction is close to that suggested by a genuine path to net zero, according to the International Energy Agency, despite the fact that climate policies and spending on green alternatives are lagging behind. In mining, the reverse is true. Helen Thomas argues the sector isn’t spending like it needs to.

Fashion

Like Arsenal’s standing in the Premier League or Matt Hancock’s career in television, the Mary Jane shoe is rebounding in the fashion world, surprising everyone who’d written off dainty footwear for chunky boots and orthopaedic-looking trainers. Sign up for our new Fashion Matters newsletter launching this month.

Grown-up Mary Janes on the streets of Paris
Grown-up Mary Janes on the streets of Paris © Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

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