President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have talked up the chances of finding an agreement on lifting the US debt ceiling
London (AFP) - Stock markets mostly rose Monday ahead of key US debt talks between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders, with both sides still apart but confident a deal could be reached to avert a catastrophic default.
Sentiment was also supported by hopes the Federal Reserve would stand firm on interest rates at its next gathering, and Biden saying China-US relations should see a thaw “very shortly”.
The dollar and oil prices steadied.
On the corporate front, Facebook owner Meta has been fined a record 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for transferring EU user data to the United States in breach of a previous court ruling, Ireland’s regulator announced Monday.
Meta said ahead of Wall Street reopening that it would appeal the decision.
After returning from the G7 summit in Japan, Biden will meet Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House, with a warning that the government could run out of cash as soon as June.
“The general sense is that a solution will be found… but markets will remain highly sensitive,” noted Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Biden insisted he would not give in to demands for spending cuts, saying they were “frankly unacceptable”.
“It’s time for the other side to move from their extreme positions,” he said.
McCarthy said his position remained unchanged, tweeting: “Washington cannot continue to spend money we do not have at the expense of children and grandchildren.”
However, after speaking to Biden, he told reporters: “I believe it was a productive phone call.”
Still, the stalled talks caused last week’s rally in US stocks to stumble Friday.
Asia fared better Monday, though markets fluctuated as investors awaited solid signs of a compromise out of Washington.
Hong Kong and Shanghai rallied, with Tokyo hitting a new 33-year high.
Seoul, Singapore, Mumbai, Taipei, Jakarta and Bangkok were also up, though there were losses in Sydney, Manila and Wellington.
London rose in the morning but Paris and Frankfurt eased. The German index on Friday closed at a record high, with markets recovering slightly in recent weeks on easing recession fears.
“It seems pretty likely that a full-fledged deal will be reached before early June, but the timing is hard to predict,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.
- Key figures around 1000 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,779.17 points
Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.1 percent at 16,254.29
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,481.82
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,389.54
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.9 percent at 31,086.82 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.2 percent at 19,678.17 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 3,296.47 (close)
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 33,426.63 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0817 from $1.0810 on Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2441 from $1.2448
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 137.91 yen from 137.94 yen
Euro/pound: UP at 86.97 pence from 86.82 pence
West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $71.55 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $75.48 per barrel