London Business News

Debt ceiling fears mount

The FTSE 100 started Wednesday on the back foot as whispers in Washington about an impasse in debt ceiling talks soured the market mood.

The first ever default on US debt is unthinkable and the likeliest outcome is an eleventh-hour deal but, as the beginning of June deadline for raising the debt ceiling signalled by US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen draws closer, nervousness is likely to build.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “The extremely partisan nature of US politics is an obstacle to a deal as both parties seek to use the threat of the cliff-edge to secure concessions from the other side.

“Sage was in demand despite the gloomy market backdrop as it upgraded its revenue forecast off the back of a strong first half performance – demonstrating the company is doing a marvelous job of navigating a decidedly mixed economic environment.

“London Stock Exchange Group was down as Blackstone, a Canadian pension region, Thomson Reuters and other investors sold 33 million shares. However, having taken this short-term pain the overhang on the stock is now almost completely removed.”