BANGKOK (AP) - Uncertainty about how long the partial shutdown of the U.S. government will last kept Asian stock markets on edge today.
Markets initially took the passing of the deadline and the partial shutdown of nonessential government services in stride. But investor anxiety has risen as the budget impasse between Republicans in the House of Representatives and the White House drags on.
Republicans are insisting that President Barack Obama accept changes to the health care law he pushed through three years ago as part of a budget bill. Obama refuses to consider any deal linking the health care law to routine legislation needed to extend government funding.
American lawmakers also have to agree on an increase in the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 or the world's largest economy may default on its debt payments. A U.S. default could send shockwaves round the world economy, threatening the patchy recovery. While some analysts said it was unlikely that U.S. politicians would allow the budget impasse to deteriorate that far, the negative rhetoric out of Washington was undermining investors' moods.
Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $103 per barrel. The dollar gained against and euro and the yen.