HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose yesterday but eyes remained fixed on the budget gridlock in Washington that has shut down the federal government as President Barack Obama warned Wall Street over the crisis.
Stronger-than-expected Chinese non-manufacturing data provided some comfort as investors appeared to brush off a breakdown in talks between Obama and Republican and Democratic leaders on the spending freeze, which threatens to trigger a debt default if it is not resolved within two weeks.
Tokyo ended flat, edging down 13.24 points to 14,157.25, although a weaker yen pared earlier losses, while Sydney closed 0.37 per cent, or 19.3 points, higher at 5,234.9.
Shanghai and Seoul were closed for public holidays.
There was some comfort for regional economies in comments from Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren, who indicated the central bank may have to delay its stimulus wind-down because of the impasse.
In other markets:
* Taipei added 1.73 per cent, or 142.50 points, to 8,359.02. Hon Hai rose 1.33 per cent to T$76.0 while smartphone maker HTC ended 0.38 per cent higher at T$133.0
* Wellington closed flat, edging up 1.35 points to 4,770.22. Contact Energy was up 0.19 per cent at NZ$5.35 and Warehouse Group gained 1.36 per cent to NZ$3.72 but Air New Zealand was down 0.66 per cent at NZ$1.50.
* Manila added 0.40 per cent, or 25.39 points, to 6,387.65. Traders welcomed news that Moody's had become the third and final ratings agency to give the Philippines investment-grade status. Universal Robina added 1.23 per cent to 123 pesos while Alliance Global Group rose 2.92 per cent to 24.70 pesos.
* Jakarta gained 0.71 per cent, or 31.04 points, to 4,418.64. Cement maker Semen Indonesia rose 1.50 per cent to 13,500 rupiah, while state-controlled miner Aneka Tambang gained 2.82 per cent to 1,460 rupiah.
* Bangkok gained 1.43 per cent, or 20.19 points, to 1,429.18. Petroleum giant PTT added 0.31 per cent to 320.00 baht, while Bangkok Bank rose 2.51 per cent to 204.00 baht. AFP