GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stock futures sag, yen up as debt deadline nears

Reuters

* U.S. politicians still trying to hammer out a deal toavert default

* Deadline to lift U.S. debt ceiling due on Thursday

* China export growth fizzles in September

By Ian Chua

SYDNEY, Oct 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell onMonday and the safe-haven yen rose broadly, foreshadowing arocky start for Asian shares after weekend talks in Washingtonfailed to reach an agreement to avert a U.S. debt default.

Adding to the gloom, data on Saturday showed China's exportgrowth unexpectedly fizzled in September, underscoring worriesabout flagging global demand.

U.S. stock index futures fell 0.8 percent inearly trade. If the losses are sustained, it indicates that WallStreet would open lower later on Monday.

U.S. Treasury futures edged up 0.2 percent, thoughthe cash market will be shut due to the Columbus Day holiday.Japanese markets are also closed on Monday for a public holiday.

U.S. stocks had risen strongly in ahead of theweekend on hopes a deal to raise the $16.7 trillion federalborrowing limit was near. But U.S. politicians remained atloggerheads.

Failure to break the stalemate before Thursday, the deadlineto raise the debt ceiling, would leave the world's biggesteconomy unable to pay its bills in the coming weeks.

This would raise serious concerns about U.S. fiscalstability and potentially have a catastrophic impact on globalfinancial markets.

Perhaps explaining why there is no major panic yet, manyanalysts have not ruled out a last-minute deal before Oct. 17,believing even U.S. politicians would not want to be responsiblefor the dire consequences of a default.

"Most likely, a solution will be found before, or be in themaking, by October 17," analysts at Nomura wrote in a clientnote.

"The tail risk comes into play if there is no clearframework for a solution by October 17. Entering this tail wouldsee risk jump in terms of funding market stress and risk assetsmore broadly."

In currency markets, investors reacted by seeking safety inthe yen. That saw the dollar fall 0.3 percent to 98.35 yen, while the euro slipped 0.1 percent to 133.22 yen. The Australian dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 92.74yen.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback'sperformance against a basket of major currencies, was only atouch softer.

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