BUSINESS

World stock markets lifted by signs of progress in resolving in US budget row

10/11/2013 12:33 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
BANGKOK - World stock markets were boosted Friday by a glimmer of progress in resolving the U.S. budget row that has threatened to leave the U.S. unable to pay its bills.

The gains came after Republican leaders said Thursday they would vote to extend the government's borrowing authority for six weeks. A spokesman for President Barack Obama said he would "likely" sign a bill to increase the nation's ability to borrow money.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 300 points Thursday, breaking a three-week funk in stocks.

The budget impasse has resulted in a partial shutdown of the U.S. government but the bigger worry has been a looming deadline for the U.S. to raise its borrowing limit. Without that authority from lawmakers, the government could default on its debts, sending shockwaves through the global financial system and economy.

In early European trading, France's CAC 40 was up 0.1 per cent at 4,220.03 and Germany's DAX gained 0.4 per cent to 8,716.69.

Futures pointed to modest gains on Wall Street with Dow futures up 0.2 per cent at 15,059. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 per cent to 1,687.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 1.5 per cent to 14,404.74 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.2 per cent to 23,218.32. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.6 per cent to 5,230.90. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.7 per cent to 2,228.15.

Markets were higher in Singapore, South Korea, India and elsewhere in the region.

Among individual stocks, Toyota Motor Corp. rose 0.9 per cent in Tokyo after a U.S. jury ruled that the automaker is not liable for the death of a woman who was killed when her 2006 Camry apparently accelerated and crashed despite her efforts to stop.

The outcome of the lawsuit could influence whether Toyota should be held responsible for sudden unintended acceleration as part of a larger group of lawsuits filed in U.S. state courts following a series of massive recalls for quality defects.

In energy trading, benchmark crude for November delivery was down $1.22 at $101.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.40 to close at $103.01 on Thursday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3576 from $1.3526 late Thursday. The dollar rose to 98.32 yen from 98.16 yen.