European markets gain after late rally in Shanghai despite weak China trade data

TOKYO – European stocks rose Tuesday after a late rebound in Chinese markets despite trade data showing headwinds for the global economy.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX advanced 1.9 per cent to 10,296.07 and Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.3 per cent to 6,155.51. The CAC 40 in France gained 1.6 per cent to 4,620.14. Wall Street was poised for a strong start after Monday’s Labor Day holiday. Dow futures were up 1.7 per cent at 16,388.00 and S&P 500 futures added 1.8 per cent to 1,955.80.

CHINA TRADE: Customs data showed that China’s exports last month shrank 5.5 per cent in dollar terms compared with a year earlier while imports tumbled 13.8 per cent. August’s figures were hit by disruption from a massive explosion at the busy Tianjin port and government enforced factory shutdowns in the run-up to a huge military parade in Beijing last week. China’s trade has been weak for months reflecting muted global demand and its domestic slowdown.

ANALYST’S VIEW: “Trade growth remained subdued last month but there are good reasons to think that the outlook is brighter than many believe” for China, said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics. “The return to negative export growth over the last couple of months has more to do with what happened a year ago than the current health of exports.”

JAPAN CONTRACTION: Japan’s economy contracted 1.2 per cent in April-June, according to revised data showing that consumer spending was slightly better than estimated, but corporate investment was significantly weaker. The figure is better than the preliminary one reported last month. Economists expect a recovery in the second half, though China’s slowdown and turbulent financial markets will limit its strength.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index sank 2.4 per cent to 17,427.09 but China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.9 per cent to 3,170.45 in a rebound from losses earlier in the day. Recent gains in Chinese stocks have been attributed by market participants to buying by government agencies aiming to halt a dramatic sell-off that began in June. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index vaulted 3.3 per cent to 21,259.04 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.2 per cent to 5,090.70. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 per cent to 1,878.68. Share markets in Southeast Asia were mixed, while Taiwan, New Zealand and India gained.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down $1.50 to $44.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 70 cents on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 35 cents to $47.98 in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1185 from $1.1168 in the previous global trading session. The dollar rose to 120.01 from 119.39 yen.