European stocks climb as investors brush off US-China tensions

Edmund Heaphy
·Finance and news reporter
·2-min read
President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaking at a news conference on Monday. Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Stocks in Europe climbed on Tuesday as investors brushed off China’s decision to sanction US lawmakers for criticising the country’s crackdown on Hong Kong.

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the 11 lawmakers and organisation leaders that it chose to sanction — a list that includes senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz — had “performed badly” on Hong Kong-related matters.

The move follows the decision from US president Donald Trump’s administration last week to sanction the same number of Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) rose by around 1.8%, while London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was almost 2% in the green following the release of UK unemployment data.

READ MORE: UK unemployment remains near record lows even as extra 80,000 jobs lost

The official UK unemployment rate remained near all-time lows in June, even as experimental real-time data released by the Office for National Statistics showed a worsening outlook for the country’s jobs market.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) rose by 2.2%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was up by more than 2.2%.

Stocks in Europe had fallen on Monday in the wake of the sanctions.

The gains in Europe followed a strong trading session in Asia.

Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) fell by more than 1.1% on Tuesday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) closed more than 1.8% in the green in Hong Kong.

READ MORE: Heathrow CEO warns of tens of thousands of job losses

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) rose by almost 1.9%, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea climbed by more than 1.3%. Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) rose by almost 0.5%.

Futures were pointing to a higher open for stocks in the US amid signs of progress on a stimulus deal.

US lawmakers and officials in the Trump administration said they were ready to resume talks about the package.

Futures on the S&P 500 (ES=F) rose by around 0.6%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) climbed by around 0.9%. Nasdaq futures (NQ=F), meanwhile, were up by around 0.6%.