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 8.3 percent in Sydney after the uranium explorer reported it is cutting costs. Nissan Motor Co., a carmaker that gets about 80 percent of its revenue outside Japan, dropped 1.1 percent as the yen gained.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index gained 0.5 percent to 463.09 as of 12:59 p.m. in Tokyo. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index that includes Japanese shares slipped 0.1 percent to 138.63. 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 1.1 percent after rising 0.5 percent. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday unveiled a 5 trillion yen ($51 billion) stimulus package to cushion the first sales-tax increase since 1997.
Japanese exporters dropped as the yen maintained yesterday’s advance against the dollar, weighing on their offshore earnings outlook. Nissan slid 1.1 percent to 981 yen and Komatsu Ltd., a maker of construction equipment that gets about 30 percent of its revenue in the Americas, lost 1.6 percent to 2,367 yen.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) rose 0.2 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.1 percent following a public holiday yesterday. Markets are closed in China for holidays until Oct. 8. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.2 percent, while Taiwan’s Taiex index advanced 0.4 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent today after the measure gained 0.8 percent yesterday. The U.S. government began its first partial shutdown in 17 years 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.
Closing down parts of the government will cost the U.S. at least $300 million a day in lost economic output at the start, according to IHS Inc., with effects increasing if a prolonged impasse dents consumer and business confidence.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 6.4 percent in September, the biggest monthly advance since January 2012. The measure traded at 13.5 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 15.4 for the S&P 500 and 14.2 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Samsung Electronics gained 2.6 percent to 1,418,000 won in Seoul after Korea Economic Daily reported the company’s telecommunication business earnings will be better than in the second quarter, citing JK Shin, head of mobile business. Samsung spokeswoman Chenny Kim confirmed Shin’s comments.
Paladin surged 8.3 percent to 52 Australian cents after reporting cost cuts including a 10 percent reduction in board and management base salaries.