Asian Shares Rally as Worries over U.S. Debt-Ceiling Ease

Asian shares rallied on Thursday tracking gains in the U.S. Wall Street, on optimism over debt-ceiling talks overnight, allowing investors to refocus on the path for interest rates.

At 9:34 a.m. Bangkok time, the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose by 1.27% as investors kept watching Japan’s trade data for April, which showed a steeper decline in imports than expected and failing to meet export predictions from Reuters. 

The benchmark Kospi index in South Korea gained 0.51%.

The unemployment rate in Australia increased to 3.7% in April, exceeding economists’ expectations of a 3.5% increase, sending the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia up by 0.56%.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.63%. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China increased by 0.70%.

All three major indices on Wall Street finished the day higher on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite posting the largest increase (1.28%). The S&P 500 index rose 1.19% while the Dow Jones industrial average added 1.24%.

U.S. President Joe Biden has indicated he is confident the United States will not default, while Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, has suggested that striking an agreement this week is “doable.” After he and other bank leaders met in Washington to discuss the debt ceiling, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon stated the US government “probably” will not default on its debts.

Later, in statements made from the White House, Biden said, “We’re going to come together because there is no alternative.” “Every leader in the room understands the consequences of failure,” he added. These comments represented the most recent indication that the months-long stalemate in discussions was finally giving way to a more serious and concrete phase that could lead to an agreement.