Stocks rise


    HONG KONG/SINGAPORE- Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday on relief that another round of Sino-US sparring appears not to have spilled over into trade, while hopes for US stimulus lent support to oil and commodity currencies.

    European markets were expected to open higher with EUROSTOXX 50 futures up 0.86 percent and FTSE futures up 0.77 percent.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up nearly 1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei returned from a holiday with a 1.85 percent gain led by healthcare and industrial stocks and the Hang Seng bounced 2.3 percent.

    South Korean stocks shrugged off a drop in exports and rose for a seventh straight session, adding 1.4 percent for a 7.5 percent gain already in August.

    Singapore’s benchmark, however, lagged after the country said it expected its biggest recession in history.

    Investors are awaiting a meeting between top US and Chinese trade officials on Saturday to review the first six months of the Phase 1 trade deal.

    With China lagging far behind on energy and farm goods purchases from the United States, it could test markets’ assumption that the trade relationship is insulated from crumbling diplomatic ties between the two nations.

    Yet there was palpable relief on Tuesday that China’s sanctions on 11 US citizens – a response to US sanctions on Chinese individuals over Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong – seemed to shut off the latest round of tit-for-tat moves.

    “It has left the White House untouched,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

    “That gives some relief that China is still giving some priority to the (trade deal) dialogue,” he said. “It’s just the sense that you’re not rocking the boat to the point of capsizing, that is the low bar today.”