Investors process economic information from Asia, leading to varying outcomes in Asian markets.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that the Quad Summit, involving the United States, India, Japan, and Australia, scheduled for May 24 has been cancelled due to US President Joe Biden cutting short his trip to Asia to deal with debt ceiling negotiations with congressional leaders. The Quad Summit was to be held in Sydney in 2023.

Morgan Stanley has identified electric vehicle (EV) stocks such as Tesla to benefit from the shift of EV battery manufacturing to the west. The shift is due to the aim of countries to reduce their dependence on China, which controls 90% of the EV battery market. Citi has given nearly 90 companies to one in naming top biotech and pharma stocks. These stocks have significant upside potential and are among the highest-rated global buys.

Non-oil domestic exports in Singapore unexpectedly rose in April, beating economists’ expectations of a decline. However, on a year-on-year basis, non-oil domestic exports fell 9.8%. The decline is attributed mainly to increased exports to the United States, European Union, and South Korea, while there were decreased exports to China, Taiwan, and Malaysia. In April, Singapore’s total trade value fell to S$100.3bn, down 18.8% YoY, extending the 8.6% decline in March. Total exports and imports decreased by 18.1% and 19.5%, respectively, compared to April 2020.

Japan’s economy grew 1.6% in the first quarter of this year on an annualized basis, beating economists’ expectations of 0.4%, according to economic data released on Tuesday. The Japanese yen has edged higher and was recently trading at 136.38 against the US dollar.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester has said that the central bank should stick to its present policy since inflation remains high. She said that “the long-term impact of high inflation on the US economy is not good.” The utilities sector, with each part down 2.5% and 1.9% respectively, were the biggest laggards in the S&P 500 index on Tuesday. Shares of APA, Halliburton, Schlumberger NV, AES, and Dominion Energy all fell.

Berkshire Hathaway added $126m to its shares in Occidental, according to a filing. The conglomerate added the sum to Occidental shares last week, at an average price of $58.06 per share. Berkshire’s CEO Warren Buffett had opened a stake in Occidental earlier this month, and regulatory approval was gained in August for it to buy as much as 50% of the company.

April retail sales in the US rose 0.4%, below expectations of 0.8%, with spending kept pace with inflation, according to data released by the Department of Commerce. Sales at gas stations fell 0.8%, whereas sporting goods stores, music stores, and bookstores saw a decline of 3.3%. However, sales at other stores and online drove the increase.

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