Asia stock markets calm despite US government shutdown
BANGKOK (AP) - Asian stock markets dealt calmly on Wednesday with a partial US government shutdown precipitated by the failure of lawmakers to agree on a temporary funding measure so the nation can pay its bills.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.7 per cent to 23,013.23. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was 0.1 per cent higher at 5,210.50. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1 per cent to 2,001.41. Benchmarks in Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines also rose.
But Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7 per cent to 14,382.11 after the government on Tuesday announced it would go ahead with a sales tax increase in April. The tax, intended to offset the country's soaring public debt, will rise from 5 per cent to 8 per cent.
A partial shutdown of the US government went into effect after Congress failed to approve short-term funding to keep the government functioning past Monday, which was the end of its fiscal year.