HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed yesterday as investors focused on the United States, where lawmakers remain at loggerheads, barely a day ahead of a critical deadline to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default.
Earlier optimism that Congress will eventually reach an agreement to fund the government is slowly giving way to despair, while Fitch ratings agency added to jitters by putting Washington's "AAA" rating on a downgrade warning.
Economists have warned that such a scenario will have devastating effects globally and would lead to a worldwide recession worse than that caused by the 2008 financial crisis.
Tokyo rose 0.18 per cent, or 25.60 points, to 14,467.14 but Seoul lost 0.31 per cent, or 6.35 points, to 2,034.61, while Sydney ended flat, edging up 3.8 points to 5,262.9.
Shanghai closed down 1.81 per cent, or 40.34 points, at 2,193.07, on speculation the authorities will restart initial public offerings soon, raising fears of a share glut.
Mumbai was closed for a public holiday.
In other markets:
* Taiwan shed 0.43 per cent, or 35.7 points, to 8,332.18. Smartphone maker HTC fell 1.57 per cent to T$125.5 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was down 0.93 per cent at T$106.0.
* Wellington rose 0.23 per cent, or 10.85 points, to 4,758.77. Fletcher Building was up 1.38 per cent at NZ$9.53 but Telecom fell 0.87 per cent at NZ$2.28.
* Manila added 0.63 per cent, or 40.87 points, to 6,483.57. Metropolitan Bank and Trust rose 2.88 per cent to 89.45 pesos, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone eased 0.35 per cent to 2,860 pesos.
* Jakarta ended down 0.61 per cent, or 27.65 points, at 4,492.26. Food manufacturer Wilmar Cahaya Kalbar rose 5.56 per cent to 1,330 rupiah, while retailer Ramayana Lestari Sentosa fell 5.30 per cent to 1,250 rupiah.
* Bangkok slipped 0.58 per cent, or 8.52 points, to 1,464.38. Coal producer Banpu rose 2.52 per cent to 30.50 baht, while Bangkok Bank fell 0.97 per cent to 205 baht. AFP