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Asian Markets Rejoice Over US Debt Ceiling Agreement

Picture Source: Internet

Asian shares mostly rose on Monday, May 29 as investors rejoiced in the deal between US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to suspend the US Debt Ceiling after weeks of negotiation.

McCarthy and Biden inked an agreement late on Saturday to suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling until 2025, after Biden’s current term. The deal must now get through the House of Representatives and Senate before June 5 to avoid an economically destabilising default. Both sides are confident it will pass.

Japanese equity markets open on Monday near the 33-year highs reached last week, while Chinese stocks and the Hang Seng tech index are languishing.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.9% in the morning session. China’s Shanghai Composite increased by 0.15%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened higher but then reversed gains and dropped 0.27%, weighed down by profit data for China’s industrial firms on the weekend.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.37%. Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1%.

US stock futures in Asia were also buoyed by the news, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rising nearly 1%, S&P 500 futures up 1.3% and Nasdaq futures gaining 0.4%.

Due to the US and UK markets being closed for holidays, liquidity and trading in the Asian markets will be lighter than usual. South Korean markets are also closed for a public holiday.

In the currency markets, the Japanese yen strengthened slightly against the US dollar reaching a six-month low of 140.39 per dollar while the Chinese yuan slipped slightly reaching 7 per dollar.

Crude oil prices rallied early Monday during Asian trading hours. Brent crude futures, a global oil benchmark, climbed 0.2% to $75.80 a barrel, while the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $73.29 per barrel or 0.8%.

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