The tech sector continued to outshine the broader market Tuesday, as the buzz around artificial intelligence helped power the Nasdaq to a 9 ½-month closing high despite the continuing lack of clarity on the debt ceiling. Meantime, the Dow Jones closed 0.1% lower while the S&P 500 finished flat, hovering around its August 2022 highs. Elsewhere in Europe, shares continued their decline with the Euro Stoxx 50 index closing 0.7% lower, at 4,292 points.  

Summary for 31.05.2023 

  • Asian equities sank on Wednesday, with Chinese markets leading declines as manufacturing activity shrank for a second straight month, while broader sentiment remained on edge ahead of a vote to raise the US debt ceiling. The Hang Seng Index tumbled 2%, hitting its lowest level in six months. The S&P/ASX200, Nikkei 225 and Shanghai Composite indices also declined. 
  • European and US equity futures struggled in Asian trading, indicating a soft opening for the regions’ blue chips. 
  • Oil prices were steady on Wednesday after losing more than 4% in the previous session, as investors awaited progress on the debt ceiling debate in Washington as some US lawmakers said they would oppose a deal to raise the debt limit. Investors also digested weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing and services data for May, fueling fears of slowing economic growth in the world’s top crude importer.   
  • China’s economic recovery weakened in May as manufacturing activity slumped. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.8, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, the lowest reading since December 2022 and weaker than the median estimate fo 49.5. A non-manufacturing gauge of activity in the services and construction sectors slid to 54.5 and 56.4, also below expectations. 
  • The monthly Consumer Price Index indicator in Australia increased 6.8% in the year to April, accelerating from a 6.3% gain in the year to March, which was the lowest level in 10 months, and beating the market consensus of 6.5%. It was the first time rising annual inflation since last December, mainly due to the faster pace of growth of transport prices. The monthly core CPI indicator was down to 6.5% in April from 6.9% in March. 
  • Legislation brokered by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to lift the $31.4 trillion US debt ceiling and achieve new federal spending cuts passed an important hurdle late on Tuesday, advancing to the full House of Representatives for debate and an expected vote on passage on Wednesday. The House Rules Committee voted 7-6 to approve the rules allowing debate by the full chamber. 
  • Goldman Sachs is mulling another round of job cuts amid a muted dealmaking environment that has dented revenues across Wall Street. The investment bank is working on what would be its third round of job cuts in under a year. The firm eliminated several hundred roles in September, followed by one of its biggest-ever rounds of retrenchments when it cut about 3,200 positions in January. 
  • Reports of a strong weekend for holiday travel boosted air carriers on Tuesday. American Airlines was up nearly 2%, while Delta Air Lines was up 1.1% and United Airlines was about 1.4% higher. 
  • Nvidia shares extended recent gains, adding about 2.8%. Tuesday’s move pushed the company’s market capitalisation to around $1 trillion, a tier it would share with fellow mega-cap tech companies Alphabet, Apple, and Microsoft. 
  • Tesla shares were up nearly 4% yesterday after reports said CEO Elon Musk was making his first visit to China in three years. Musk was expected to meet with senior Chinese officials and visit Tesla’s Shanghai plant.