News / Economy

    U.S. Debt Doubts Keep Lid on Shares

    Trader Gregory Rowe, left, and specialist Anthony Rinaldi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 7, 2013.Trader Gregory Rowe, left, and specialist Anthony Rinaldi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 7, 2013.
    x
    Trader Gregory Rowe, left, and specialist Anthony Rinaldi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 7, 2013.
    Trader Gregory Rowe, left, and specialist Anthony Rinaldi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 7, 2013.
    Reuters
    The lack of an expected deal over the weekend to avert a looming U.S. debt default kept world equity markets and the dollar under pressure on Monday, while the yen rose as some investors shifted into safer assets.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell held talks that Reid on Sunday called ``substantive.'' Reid did not provide details.  Though Reid's remarks gave some hope that Congress soon might pass legislation to fund the government and raise its borrowing authority, investors took a less optimistic view.

    ``Everybody went home last Friday figuring we had a deal in our hand,'' said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts. ``But then you go through the weekend and the news was pretty much bad.''

    Even if a deal gets done, which McMillan said was likely, the stand-off had created ``justifiable anxiety'' and tremendous  uncertainty, he said. ``We've done more damage both directly to the economy, through the shutdown, and indirectly through postponing decisions and reintroducing uncertainly in the decision processes than anyone appreciates,'' McMillan said.  

    MSCI's world equity index fell 0.2 percent, while the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index of leading European shares was little changed, up about 0.04 percent. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 72.63 points, or 0.48 percent, at 15,164.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 8.57 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,694.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 15.30 points, or 0.40 percent, at 3,776.58.  

    The cautious mood was reflected in the market's neutral reaction to news that factory output in the euro zone grew at its strongest pace in two years in August.  ``It's not time to be adventurous right now,'' said Alastair Winter, chief economist at Daniel Stewart. ``I don't think people should be in a rush to do anything.'' The dollar, as it has since the budgetary crisis, bore the brunt of the nervousness, shedding 0.47 percent against the safer option of the yen to trade at around 98.10 yen.

    The dollar also slipped 0.55 percent against the Swiss franc  at 0.9072 francs, while the euro rose 0.32 percent to $1.3584.    

    Adding to market worries, China said exports dropped 0.3 percent in September from a year earlier against expectations of a 6 percent rise, while annual inflation rate hit a 7-month high of 3.1 percent, limiting scope for rate cuts.  

    The decline in exports from the world's second-largest economy has raised questions over the global recovery, which were highlighted by the IMF last week when it trimmed its forecast to the lowest since the global recession in 2009.  

    Brent crude dropped almost to $110 a barrel, while copper edged up 0.78 percent to $7,256.25 a ton as strong imports of the metal from top consumer China boosted optimism about the outlook for demand. Brent crude futures fell by $1.14 to $110.14. U.S. oil pared early gains and was down 46 cents at $101.56. U.S. government debt markets were closed because of Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8812
    JPY
    USD
    112.18
    GBP
    USD
    0.6939
    CAD
    USD
    1.3961
    INR
    USD
    68.436

    Rates may not be current.