Investors Await U.S. Debt Deal

Investors around the globe are waiting to see if U.S. lawmakers can come up with a deal to raise the federal debt limit. Failure to do so could damage international confidence in American assets.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

NPR's business news starts with financial markets on edge.

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LOUISE KELLY: U.S. stock prices are down slightly and the safe haven of gold is up, as nervous investors await a critical budget deal from U.S. lawmakers. The deadline is drawing closer for Congress to reach agreement on raising the limit for how much the federal government can borrow. Failure to strike a deal by next week could damage international confidence in American assets and it could lead to a downgrade of America's credit rating. Asian stock markets also ended the day lower and most European markets were down as well.

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