Asian stock markets mixed; Australia shares flat amid political uncertainty

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed in early trading Monday, with Australian shares flat amid uncertainty over the result of weekend federal elections.

The S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 percent to 4,434.0 as Australia's two major political parties lobbied independent lawmakers to try to stitch together the nation's first minority government since World War II.

The final results of Saturday's vote may not be known for a week or more, but both Labor and the Liberal Party-led opposition conceded neither would achieve the 76 seats needed to form a government in the lower chamber.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average fell 0.9 percent to 9,100.21, while Seoul's Kospi rose .01 percent to 1,776.0.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 85.40 yen from 85.59 yen late Friday. The euro held steady at $1.27.

Friday in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.6 percent to 10,213.62 as investors' pessimistic view of the economy deepened.