BANGKOK (AP) - Worries about the U.S. economy and a looming budget battle in Washington kept Asian stock markets in check Thursday.
Data released Wednesday showed orders for long-lasting durable goods in the United States increased by only 0.1 percent in August after a sharp drop the month before, raising concerns that third quarter U.S. economic growth may not be as strong as anticipated.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index overcame initial losses to advance 0.3 percent to 14,668.60. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4 percent to 2,005.45. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1 percent to 5,282.40. Benchmarks in Indonesia and Thailand also rose, while those in Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines fell.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 23,112.66 and the Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.5 percent to 2,166.17. Chinese banking shares fell after reports showed a sharp drop in total yuan deposits.