US House leaders were yesterday engaged in a flurry of meetings to shore up backing for the $700bn (£397bn) US financial bailout and end the political uncertainty hanging over the rescue bill as early as today.

But following a wide-margin 74-25 vote in the Senate on Wednesday night to approve a revised version of the legislation, the prospects for its passage in the House remained in the balance last night.

In an afternoon press conference, Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, said that she was optimistic that a bill would be taken to the floor.

Financial Times