* U.S. stocks higher in early New York trading
* Georgia Senate runoff seen as political risk
* Oil prices up sharply (Updates with early U.S. markets activity, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
NEW YORK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Global equity indexes were mostly higher on Tuesday after Wall Street started the year with losses on Monday, while the U.S. dollar weakened.
Investors anxiously awaited, however, Tuesday’s dual Senate run-off races in the state of Georgia that are expected to determine the balance of power in Washington.
A Democratic victory in both contests could tip control of the U.S. Senate away from Republicans, potentially boosting the agenda of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
“Investors are taking a wait-and-see attitude...There’s a lot to be concerned about - not only in the U.S. with the elections but also because of the different strains of the virus that are now being reported around the globe,” CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stovall said.
Both Georgia senatorial elections are tight and the results may not be immediately known, which could lead to a repeat of the fraught vote re-counts that followed the U.S. presidential election in November.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.88 points, or 0.02%, to 30,229.77, the S&P 500 gained 7.26 points, or 0.20%, to 3,707.91 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.70 points, or 0.53%, to 12,766.15.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.30% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.24%.
In the currency markets, the dollar fell against a basket of major currencies after China lifted its official yuan exchange rate by its highest margin since it abandoned a dollar peg in 2005.
The Chinese move helped support demand for other currencies and kept MSCI’s emerging-market currency index near the record high it had hit on Monday.
In the offshore market, the yuan strengthened as far as 6.4419 for the first time since June 2018. It started the week at 6.4944.
The British pound recovered from a tumble on Monday after a surge in COVID cases in the United Kingdom forced another nationwide lockdown until mid-February.
The dollar index fell 0.198%, with the euro up 0.18% to $1.227. Sterling was last trading at $1.3587, up 0.13% on the day.
Earlier, in Hong Kong, China Mobile, China Unicom , and China Telecom rallied after the New York Stock Exchange suddenly scrapped plans to de-list the companies’ shares following a U.S. executive order.
Both Brent and U.S. crude futures were up sharply, and spot gold added 0.2% to $1,946.57 an ounce.
In the bond market, benchmark U.S. 10-year notes last fell 7/32 in price to yield 0.9399%, from 0.917% late on Monday.
Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London and Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru, editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich