Investors react to tentative US debt ceiling deal
U.S. President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy have reached a tentative deal to raise the federal government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, ending a months-long stalemate.
But the deal still faces a difficult path to pass through Congress before the United States runs out of money to pay its debts in early June.
BOB STARK, GLOBAL HEAD OF MARKET STRATEGY, KYRIBA,
“While the White House’s debt ceiling agreement is great news, the U.S. government still has a cash flow problem and time is of the essence to finalize the agreements. The debt ceiling agreement is only the first step in saving the government from the brink of illiquidity.”
“Markets already priced in that an agreement would be made this weekend. What investors will now focus on is the cost of the spending cuts to the health of the American economy. How much impact will these spending cuts have on GDP and economic growth?”
“Already corporate CFOs are updating their cash forecasts to factor in the costs of this debt ceiling agreement, trying to project the impacts of the spending cuts on their own organization’s financial projections. How many businesses will be adversely affected by the fallout from this agreement? The cost of what the Democrats gave up to extend the debt ceiling by two years will be felt for the next decade as the American economy struggles to rebalance itself.”
“One immediate benefit on Monday is that short-term treasury yields will start their return to normal, whereas U.S. T-Bills and treasury notes can march back to their risk-free status and provide security to investors and the American people.”
STUART KAISER, HEAD OF EQUITY TRADING STRATEGY, CITI, NEW YORK:
“The debt ceiling deal removes a tail risk to economic growth but doesn’t meaningfully shift the base case. As a result, it’s a modest positive for equity markets at the index level but incrementally more positive for areas such as weak balance sheet stocks, small cap and perhaps cyclicals. Those have underperformed recently and have higher exposure to growth and credit risks.”
DAMIEN BOEY, CHIEF MACRO STRATEGIST, BARRENJOEY, SYDNEY:
“We will get the optimism that a deal is done and that a real crisis is averted, and the dreaded liquidity drain at the same time. The net impact is ambiguous, but I think you will find that interest rate volatility will rise, and this will cause banks and non-AI growth stocks to be laggards.”
MOH SIONG SIM, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, BANK OF SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE:
“The deal still needs to be passed by both the House and Senate. Assuming that the agreed spending cuts do not materially impact the U.S. growth outlook, the debt deal should be both risk and U.S. dollar positive.
“The need for Treasury to rebuild its cash balance could tighten liquidity.”
VISHNU VARATHAN, HEAD OF ECONOMICS, MIZUHO BANK, SINGAPORE:
“There may be an initial sliver of relief that may send yields a tad lower along with some U.S. dollar bump-up, alongside equities. But the vagaries of pushing the deal through Congress may hold back.
And beyond that the overriding implications on liquidity squeeze from issuances to bolster cash that is running very low at the Treasury may perversely elevate yields and dampen equities. The dollar, though, may be bid.”
THIERRY WIZMAN, GLOBAL FX AND INTEREST RATES STRATEGIST, MACQUARIE GROUP, NEW YORK:
“There is certainly going to be a relief in the fixed income markets. Where there were the most distortions from the uncertainty was in the credit markets and in the Treasury bill market… I think on Tuesday, when the market reopens in the U.S., we should see those two distortions fixed.
“But what this doesn’t solve, is that along the whole Treasury curve yields have gone up recently. And I think they went up in anticipation that there will be a lot of issuance of Treasury bonds and notes and bills in the next few weeks because the U.S. Treasury has to replenish its cash. And so, I think Treasury bond yields will stay high for a while as that supply is absorbed.
“And I think stocks can do okay, here. This was certainly one overhang over the stock market.
“As far as the dollar goes, I’m inclined to think that it could strengthen the dollar a little bit because it will weaken the argument for de-dollarization. But not by much, just a little bit more, because the dollar has already strengthened in the last few weeks quite a bit.”
AMO SAHOTA, DIRECTOR, KLARITYFX, SAN FRANCISCO:
“This will be pretty good for the market. I think it will keep the expectations still pretty red hot with how the Nasdaq has been performing. It will be good for equities.
“I think it may also give more reason for the Fed to feel confident about trying to lift up rates again. I think the market may actually seize the opportunity to price in a little bit more tightening in June, if they think that all else being equal, the economy is still running pretty hot. We can see that, the lift up in the tech sector in particular. Spending has been pretty robust as well.
“I think this just holds the dollar up pretty well as well. I think, generally, everybody should be pretty happy with this, although we want to see what the color of the deal looks like. Initially, it looks like this is coming more from cuts, which is really what the Republicans were pushing for.
“And it’ll be important to see how long the deal is for, whether … we’re going to face these same issues again. Or whether those matters are also going to be resolved with a long-term deal. I very, very much doubt it’s a long-term deal.”