Hopes rise for deal on US political crisis as talks continue
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Hopes rose for a breakthrough in the political impasse crippling Washington after "constructive" talks between President Barack Obama and top Republicans on a short-term fix to stave off a debt default.
After days of deadlock, Republicans proposed a six-week extension of US borrowing authority in return for an agreement by Mr Obama to negotiate on a budget that would restart federal operations, which halted on Oct 1.
Talk of a possible deal sparked optimism on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining more than 300 points or 2.2 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange was also up over two percent.
The White House said on Thursday that Mr Obama would be open to a short-term debt ceiling hike to avoid the United States defaulting on its debts after an Oct 17 deadline.