Asian Markets Mixed as U.S. Debt Ceiling Talks Weigh on Sentiments

Wednesday’s trading in Asia has been choppy as investors monitor regional economic data while staying risk conservative in the face of ongoing talks to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. 

As of 9.35 A.M. Bangkok time, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.66%.

South Korea’s Kospi also traded 0.54% higher. In Australia, meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.49%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.12% and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.27%.

U.S. stocks fell across the board overnight as investors focused on a meeting between congressional leaders and President Joe Biden to discuss raising the country’s debt ceiling.

For the first time since March 30, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day below its 50 day average, losing 1.01%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.18% while the S&P 500 lost 0.64%.

On Tuesday, Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy and Democratic President Joe Biden moved closer to reaching an agreement on how to prevent a default on U.S. government debt.

Following an hour of talks, House Speaker McCarthy told reporters that the two sides remained “far apart” on a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

However, he said, “It is possible to get a deal by the end of the week. It’s not that difficult to get to an agreement.”