Stocks in Asia mostly rose on Friday following two of the three major Wall Street indexes set new highs overnight and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed optimism that a deal might be reached on the U.S. debt ceiling by next week.
At 9:32 a.m. Bangkok time, the Nikkei 225 index gained 0.95%, keeping it at its highest level since 1990, putting Japanese markets on track for their best week since October. Core inflation in Japan continued to trend beyond the monetary authority’s 2% objective in April, at 3.4% annually.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was 0.46% higher, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.52%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.43% and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China slid 0.69%.
Overnight, traders on Wall Street pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to its highest closing levels since August 2022 as they remained focused on debt ceiling negotiations.
The Nasdaq jumped 1.51%, reaching new 52-week highs, while the S&P gained 0.94%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.34%.
On Thursday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed optimism that Congress will be able to strike a debt ceiling agreement in time for a vote next week.
McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol, “I see the path that we can come to an agreement.” “And I think we have a structure now and everybody’s working hard, and I mean, we’re working two or three times a day, then going back getting more numbers,” he added.
To prevent a default on US debt, McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are preparing for votes in the coming days. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a failure to increase the debt ceiling would have “catastrophic” consequences for the global financial system.
The Group of Seven leaders are starting their summit today in Hiroshima, Japan.