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The ASX started the week on a very positive note after a late-night phone call on Saturday between US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ended the months-long debt ceiling negotiations with a compromised, tentative outcome being agreed to. The US was just under 2-weeks away from running out of money to pay its bills according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, so the last-minute dash to achieve an outcome to present to congress for passing has boosted sentiment in global markets to start the new trading week higher. The deal still must pass through congress but at least gives the parties a few years of buffer before these negotiations start again.
The ASX rose 0.88% to start the new trading week on a positive note with the debt ceiling agreement being the key driver of the ASX rallying. The debt ceiling agreement also sparked a rally for commodity prices too with oil up 0.67% to US$73.16/barrel and iron ore up 3.55% to US$102/tonne on positive demand outlook now the debt ceiling agreement has been reached. Real Estate stocks led the gains yesterday adding almost 2% on eased fears of global economic turmoil resulting from the lifting of the US debt ceiling, while materials stocks rose 1.62% and financials added almost 1.4% to start the week. The only sector that closed lower yesterday was consumer discretionary stocks. The debt ceiling agreement being reached doesn’t rule out a recession soon for the world’s largest economy, with analysts’ still factoring in a 68% chance of the US heading into a recession in Q3. Locally, the pressure is mounting for embattled accounting and consulting giant PwC Australia as the company directed nine senior partners to go on leave effective immediately following the company’s CEO, Tom Seymour, resigning over the tax law leaks three weeks ago. Acting PwC CEO Kristin Stubbins has issued an apology on behalf of the firm for sharing confidential government tax policy information and betraying the trust placed in the company. The scandal involves dozens of PwC partners receiving emails related to plans to use confidential government tax policy information in a bid to win new clients. And WA Premier Mark McGowan announced his shock resignation yesterday which may have some impact on the market in coming months as we assess how his successor takes forward or changes McGowan made especially in the mining sector.
US markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday, but the expectation is for a rally on Tuesday in the US as investors respond to the debt ceiling negotiation agreement being reached. In Europe overnight, markets closed lower in the region as investors now shift focus to future rate hikes expected out of the European Central Bank and Bank of England, both of which were expected to pause and look to pivot before recent economic data complicated the outlook. Germany’s DAX fell 0.2% while the French CAC lost 0.21%. The UK market was also closed on Monday for the Late May bank holiday.
What to watch today: