Asian stocks outside Japan rose as investors speculated economic effects would be limited from the first partial U.S. government shutdown in 17 years.
Samsung Electronics Co. gained 2.6 percent in Seoul after the consumer-electronics maker said third-quarter earnings will improve at its mobile unit. Paladin Energy Ltd. soared 10 percent in Sydney as the uranium explorer announced cost cuts. Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by Li Ka-shing, surged the most since November 2007 on a report it may seek to raise $10 billion spinning off its Watsons retail arm. Nissan Motor Co., a carmaker that gets about 80 percent of its revenue outside Japan, dropped 1 percent as the yen gained.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index rose 0.2 percent to 461.86 as of 5:08 p.m. in Tokyo, while the broader gauge slipped 0.2 percent to 138.49. The U.S. government is in partial shutdown after lawmakers failed to agree on a federal budget. Congress also faces a dispute over raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit this month.
“People see this is a short-term impact, but the key question is around the debt ceiling and that’s what people are looking forward to,” said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets Ltd. in Melbourne. “If you take away the U.S. fiscal position, then equity appreciation is still very strong.”
Japan’s Topix (TPX) index fell 1.5 percent. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday after the close unveiled a 5 trillion yen ($51 billion) stimulus package to cushion the first sales-tax increase since 1997.
Japanese exporters dropped as the yen extended yesterday’s advance against the dollar, weighing on offshore earnings. Nissan slid 1 percent to 982 yen. Komatsu Ltd., a maker of construction equipment that gets about 30 percent of its revenue in the Americas, lost 2 percent to 2,359 yen.
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Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) rose 0.2 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 0.6 percent after reopening from a holiday. Markets are closed in China for National Day celebrations until Oct. 8. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.7 percent, and Taiwan’s Taiex index advanced 0.4 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.7 percent today after the measure gained 0.8 percent yesterday. The U.S. government began a shutdown yesterday as Republicans and Democrats remained at odds over whether to tie any changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act to a short-term extension of government funding. As many as 800,000 federal employees were out of work, while some services were halted.