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Debt deal: World relief, but IMF warns US on 'stable management' of finances

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed at 14,588.51 after gaining 119.37 points, or 0.83 percent, in Tokyo following the debt deal.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed at 14,588.51 after gaining 119.37 points, or 0.83 percent, in Tokyo following the debt deal.Koji Sasahara / AP

The world reacted with relief Thursday to the last-minute deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, but there were signs the drawn-out process has undermined confidence in America's global standing in both finance and politics.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged Washington to build a more stable management of U.S. finances, mindful that Wednesday night's deal only suspends the debt limit until Feb. 7.

“Looking forward, it will be essential to reduce uncertainty surrounding the conduct of fiscal policy by raising the debt limit in a more durable manner,” said IMF boss Christine Lagarde.

Markets in Asia rose on the news that U.S. lawmakers had voted with hours to spare to avoid reaching the $16.7 trillion threshold, but the dollar fell against a slew of currencies, according to Reuters.

"It casts dark clouds over the economy - politics are now the main drag for growth in the U.S," Rabobank strategist Philip Marey said. 

In the U.K., The Times newspaper wrote in an editorial of its “relief” at the deal, which it said “saves world from financial meltdown.”

Germany’s Der Spiegel added: “The superpower remains solvent. The Republicans admit their defeat.” And the Times of India said in a headline: "World heaves sigh of relief as U.S. barely averts debt default."

Robin Bew, chief economist and editorial director of the Economist Intelligence Unit, posted on Twitter: “So we can look forward to another #US debt debacle in 3mths time. Don't expect a grand bargain so likely to lurch from one crisis to next.”

Spanish newspaper El Pais said the deal “doesn’t dispel the doubts created about the governability of the world’s superpower.” It went further, adding that U.S. brinksmanship had “weakened the international leadership of the United States”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, welcomed the deal, telling reporters it was in accordance with the U.S. interests and served global economic stability.

Chinese credit rating agency Dagong downgraded the U.S. from A to A-. "Hence the government is still approaching the verge of default crisis, a situation that cannot be substantially alleviated in the foreseeable future," the agency said in a statement. However, Dagong’s ratings do not have much influence beyond China, Reuters reported.

Reuters contributed to this report.