Obstacles to debt and the fate of interest hang over the markets
Amidst a wave of uncertainty, global markets witnessed wide fluctuations, especially in safe havens, led by gold, affected by the uncertainty in Congress’ approval of the US debt ceiling agreement to avoid the country’s catastrophic default.
And while US President Joe Biden expressed optimism, as he said on Monday evening that he feels comfortable about the prospects for Congress to ratify the debt ceiling agreement that he reached with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy … Some Republican lawmakers later said that they would oppose the $ 31.4 trillion agreement, In an indication that the approval of the agreement in Congress may face difficulty before the government runs out of funds next week.
The European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.2 percent by 07:16 GMT, before cutting its losses later to 0.06 percent at 11:49, amid expectations of trading gaining momentum with the reopening of the United States and Britain markets after a holiday.
Shares of “Nestle” fell 0.8 percent after the Swiss food group said it had appointed Anna Manz, chief financial officer of the London Stock Exchanges Group, as its new chief financial officer. Unilever shares fell 0.6 percent after the consumer goods giant said its chief financial officer would leave by the end of May 2024. Around Town shares fell nearly 2 percent to a record low after the German real estate company published first-quarter results.
In Asia, the situation was less severe, as the Japanese Nikkei index closed slightly higher after its morning decline, amid optimism about the growth of investments in the semiconductor industry in the country.
The Nikkei index reversed its early losses, to close up 0.3 percent at 31,328.16 points. On Monday, the index touched 31,560.43 points, a level it had not reached since July of 1990. As for the broader Topix index, it fell 0.07 percent to 2,159.22 points.
Advantest Corp jumped 2.38 percent, bringing its gains over the past four days to 29 percent, amid expectations that the chip-testing equipment maker will lead an artificial intelligence boom with its customer, NVIDIA Corp. While the shares of Japan Airlines fell 0.71 percent, which led to a decline in shares of air transport companies, after the rise in oil prices.
The losers outnumbered the gainers on the Nikkei index, whose blue-chip stocks generally outperformed the market amid inflows of hot money from abroad. Among the 33 indices representing various industries on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the iron and steel industry sub-index was the biggest gainer, up 1.45 percent, while the insurance companies sub-index was the biggest loser, down 1.37 percent.
For its part, gold prices rose after they were near their lowest level in two months in morning trading, as early optimism about reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling in the United States and declining expectations that the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) would temporarily stop raising interest rates in June ( June) weakened the attractiveness of the precious metal, but the gravity returned later, with news of the US agreement facing difficulties.
After spot gold prices fell 0.2 percent to $1938.57 an ounce by 04:48 GMT, they rose again by $12.80, or 0.66 percent, to $1957.10 at 1145. US gold futures also increased by 0.66 percent, to $1957.30. .
On the other hand, Federal Reserve officials have in recent days increased anticipation with hawkish expectations about interest rates, which to some extent lost gold some of the gains it achieved as a safe haven during the debt ceiling crisis in the United States, as high interest rates undermine the attractiveness of the non-returnable metal. Markets now only 39.9 percent expect the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged in June.
As for other precious metals, silver fell in spot transactions by 0.7 percent to $23.03 an ounce, while platinum increased 0.3 percent to $1,027.27, and palladium rose 1.1 percent to $1,430.74.
In the currency market, the dollar fell slightly against a basket of major currencies, but remained close to its highest level in two months. The index, which measures the US currency against six major currencies, fell 0.22 percent to 103.98 points, near the two-month high of 104.42 points it touched on Friday. The index is expected to end the month up by 2.5 percent.
The euro rose 0.35 percent to 1.0745 dollars, and the pound sterling rose in the latest trading session to 1.2434 dollars, up 0.63 percent throughout the day. The Japanese yen fell 0.54 percent to 139.69 per dollar, after touching a six-month low of 140.91 yen per dollar on Monday. The Australian dollar fell 0.31 percent to $0.652, and the New Zealand dollar fell 0.15 percent to $0.604.
The Turkish lira fell to a new record low of 20.2 against the dollar, continuing the losses incurred since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in the re-run of the presidential elections that took place on Sunday.