Asian stocks and Wall Street futures struggled on Monday as U.S. debt ceiling negotiations approached crunch time after stalling last week, while lingering banking fears and fresh geopolitical worries also capped sentiment.
U.S. President Joe Biden and House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet to discuss the debt ceiling on Monday, less than two weeks before the June 1 deadline after which Treasury expects the federal government will struggle to pay its debts.
A failure to lift the debt ceiling would trigger a default, likely sparking chaos in financial markets and a spike in interest rates.
S&P 500 futures lost 0.1% while Nasdaq futures were flat.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was wobbly and was last up 0.1% for the day. Japan’s Nikkei, which on Friday hit its highest since August 1990, was also mostly unchanged while Australia’s resources-heavy shares slipped 0.3%.
South Korea bucked the sluggish trend, gaining 0.8%.