Asian Stocks Flat ahead of U.S. Vote on Debt Ceiling Deal

Asian stock markets were little changed on Tuesday as investors waited for a possible vote on a plan to raise the US borrowing ceiling later this week. According to reports, a deal was reached over the weekend.

As of 9:34 a.m. Bangkok time, the Nikkei 225 index in Japan was down 0.40% after the country’s unemployment rate decreased to 2.6% in April from 2.8% in March.

After a holiday, trading on South Korea’s Kospi index resumed strongly, opening up 0.93%. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia was slightly down.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks are expected to fall to fresh lows for the year, with the Hang Seng index down 0.38% to 18,481.

The U.S. stock market was closed on Monday in celebration of Memorial Day, but futures were up as investors addressed the deal reached over the weekend, which they saw as a “market opportunity.”

Dow futures rose 72 points, or 0.2%, and S&P 500 futures climbed 3 points, or 0.8%. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.5%.

The legislation of the debt-ceiling bill is expected to be voted on as early as Wednesday. There has been no indication from lawmakers that they plan to report to Capitol Hill early to continue working on the compromise. The bill accord requires both Republican and Democratic backing.