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Zurich Weekly Investment News – 5th June 2023

Weekly Investment News


Last week saw US stocks reach their highest level in 2023 as economic indicators surprised to the upside. On Friday, data from the US Labour Department showed that non-farm payrolls increased by 339,000 in May. This came despite economists’ expectations of a 190,000 figure. The report displayed a surprisingly strong labour market in the US, with many investors taking the news positively although there were some reservations in terms of interest rate expectations. US economic strength makes it more likely for the Federal Reserve to continue its rate hiking policy to curb inflation. The benchmark US 10 Year Treasury yield finished the week at 3.68%.


After weeks of negotiations and uncertainty in Washington, last week also saw the passage of a deal between Republicans and Democrats to raise the debt ceiling. The agreement which suspends the US debt limit until 2025, and curbs government spending, was passed in the US House of Representatives and the Senate last week. President Joe Biden subsequently signed the Bill on Saturday.


In the Eurozone, stocks were down slightly, returning -0.3% for the week. Last Wednesday saw the release of May Consumer Price Index data from Eurostat. The report showed that inflation in the 20-member bloc is now at its lowest level since early 2022. The figure for May came in at 6.1% down from 7.0% the previous month. Investor sentiment was positive as a result, however the European Central Bank continued to signal that inflation remained too high, and more rate rises were likely.


Stocks in the Asia Pacific region also benefitted from news of a US debt ceiling agreement however weaker than expected Chinese Purchasing Managers Index and a slower than expected post covid recovery in the region has seen muted returns in 2023