Possible Debt Ceiling Deal Buoys Asia

Asia-Pacific markets rose on hopes of U.S President Joe Biden and congressional leaders inching closer to a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a default.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that a “better process” is now in place for further talks, saying it’s “possible to get a deal by the end of the week.” Biden shortened his trip to Asia to focus on the negotiations, the White House said.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 leaped 480.34 points, or 1.6%, to 30,573.93, as investors further digested Japan’s trade data for April – imports fell further than expected while exports growth saw a two-year low on weakened China demand.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 166.68 points, or 0.9%, to 19,727.25.

Australian markets rose as the country’s unemployment rate came in at 3.7% in April, higher than the 3.5% expected by economists.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 index dropped 4.1 points, or 0.1%, to 3,956.07.

In Singapore, the Straits Times index forged ahead 8.71 points, or 0.3%, to 3,182.55.

In Korea, the Kospi gathered 20.74 points, or 0.8%, to 2,515.40.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index popped 176.59 points, or 1.1%, to 16,101.88.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 picked up 24.42 points, or 0.2%, to 11,976.08.

In Australia, the ASX 200 improved 37.54 points, or 0.5%, to 7,236.78.