US equities extended last week’s gains Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite posting its fifth gain in the past six sessions, as investors moved on from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s address and readied for a busy slate of economic updates.  The S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were both up 0.6% while the Nasdaq rallied by 0.8%.  Energy shares were among the strongest sectors, as crude oil futures rose for a third-straight session and closed at the highest level in over a week.  Regional banks and retailers were also higher.  Elsewhere, European shares also advanced yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 Index up 1.4%, as tech shares rebounded strongly from three straight sessions of losses. 

Summary for 29.08.2023 

  • Most Asian shares rose slightly on Tuesday as markets awaited a barrage of key economic readings this week, while a rally in Chinese shares extended into a second session amid speculation over more stimulus measures.  Investors also reacted to data showing Japan’s jobless rate surprisingly increased to 2.7% in July from 2.5% in June.  Shares in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and mainland China all advanced. 
  • European shares are set for a muted start as traders look ahead to key economic data coming out this week.  Meantime, US equity futures held steady this morning as the end of what has been a challenging August for the market approaches. 
  • Oil prices fell slightly in early Asian trade today as traders awaited a slew of economic readings from major oil importers this week, while focus also remained on potential supply disruptions from Tropical Storm Idalia. 
  • The smallest increase in grocery bills in almost a year drove down inflation in British shop in August, relieving some of the pressure on the Bank of England to keep raising interest rate hikes.  The British Retail Consortium said that shop price inflation fell sharply again to 6.9% in August from 7.6% the month before.  Food prices led to the decline, particularly for meat, potatoes and cooking oils. 
  • The United States and China agreed to launch an export control enforcement information exchange and a new working group on commercial issues, the US Commerce Department said on Monday, giving Beijing a potential forum to express concerns.  After meetings between US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, the department said the exchange would provide a platform to reduce misunderstanding of US security policies. 
  • Workers at two Chevron-operated liquefied natural gas export plants in Australia are threatening to begin strike action next week, ratcheting up pressure on negotiations and putting global energy supply at risk.  The risk of strikes has rocked the global gas market, with fears that outages could trigger bidding wars between Europe and Asia for spare shipments. 
  • Italy approved a decree Monday that empowers it to take a stake in Telecom Italia SpA’s network business, part of an effort by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s increasingly activist government to assert more control over strategic assets.  The decree gives cabinet backing to an agreement with US private equity firm KKR & Co. to jointly control Telecom Italia’s grid.  Under the deal, Italy is entitled to take as much as 20% of the business, the most valuable in the former monopoly’s portfolio.