|Regional markets lifted by Obama comments on stop-gap debt deal
Asian markets mostly gained after US President Barack Obama said he was open to a short-term deal to end a US budget stand-off and avoid a devastating default.
There was also broad support for assets and the US dollar on news that Obama had nominated Janet Yellen to become the next Federal Reserve chief, raising hopes the bank would stick to the same the track mapped out by Ben Bernanke.
Tokyo climbed 0.44 percent by the break, Hong Kong was 0.76 percent lower and Sydney was up 0.10 percent, while Shanghai added 0.17 percent.
Seoul is closed for a public holiday.
Obama said world leaders were nervous Republican lawmakers would “blow up'' the US economy if they did not give up their demands for cuts to his healthcare law in return for passing a new budget and raising the borrowing limit.
Failure to raise borrowing will mean the government cannot pay its bills or service its debts, triggering a default that analysts have warned could send the world economy back into recession similar to that after the financial crisis.
However, Obama did say he was willing to accept a short-term deal to raise the US$16.7 trillion debt ceiling and reopen the government.
“If [the Republicans] can't do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place,'' he said.
But the Dow fell 1.07 percent, the S&P 500 sank 1.23 percent and the Nasdaq tumbled 2 percent.
On forex markets, the US dollar gained to 97.30 yen compared with 96.86 yen in New York on Tuesday.—AFP