Wall Street points higher on hopes for US debt ceiling breakthrough

Wall Street pointed toward gains before the bell on Friday, potentially setting up markets for their best week since March as optimism about a US debt ceiling deal grew heading into the weekend.

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Wall Street pointed toward gains before the bell on Friday, potentially setting up markets for their best week since March as optimism about a US debt ceiling deal grew heading into the weekend.

Futures for the Dow Jones industrials and S and P 500 each rose 0.2 per cent in premarket trading.

Hopes are high that the United States Congress would reach a deal to avoid defaulting on the nation's debt.

President Joe Biden, in Hiroshima for the Group of Seven summit of major industrialised nations, has said he's confident about reaching a deal with Republicans to allow the US government to increase its credit limit and borrow more.

The US government is scheduled to run out of cash to pay its bills as soon as June 1 unless a deal is made, and economists say a US federal default could have catastrophic consequences across financial markets and the economy.

Stocks have remained remarkably resilient since early April despite a long list of worries.

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A major reason for that is hope the Federal Reserve would take it easier on its hikes to rates, which have slowed inflation at the expense of risking a recession and knocking down prices across financial markets.

The widespread bet was that the Fed would take a pause at its next meeting in June. But Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan cooled some of those hopes in a prepared speech for the Texas Bankers Association.

In off-hours trading early Friday, Foot Locker slid more than 25per cent after the shoe and athletic gear retailer cut its full-year forecast after missing first-quarter sales and profit targets.

Deere and Co. jumped more than 3per cent after the farm equipment company beat Wall Street forecasts and raised its full-year outlook.

In Europe at midday, France's CAC 40 added 0.8 per cent, Germany's DAX jumped 0.7per cent and Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4per cent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 per cent to finish at 30,808.35. That was the highest close for the index in about 33 years. Data on Japan's consumer price index for April showed a rise of 3.4per cent from the previous year, indicating inflationary pressures were subsiding as prices eased in the rest of the world.

Australia's S and P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 per cent to 7,279.50. South Korea's Kospi added 0.9per cent to 2,537.79.

Chinese shares fell on renewed worries set off by signs that an extended lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic hurt sales. Also weighing on Chinese shares were inflationary pressures and geopolitical risks, analysts said.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 1.4 per cent to 19,450.57, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.4per cent to 3,283.54.

While the broader risk environment has been singlehandedly uplifted by progress around the US debt ceiling negotiations, Chinese equities continue to struggle for gains, said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude rose USD 1.10 to USD 72.96 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added USD 1.15 to USD 77.01 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar declined to 138.37 Japanese yen from 138.66 yen. The euro cost USD 1.0811, up from USD1.0777.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 19 2023 | 7:40 PM IST

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