China in the mood to bolster markets

Markets moved higher on hopes of improved US - Sino relations

Asian markets recovered as Chinese trade officials and President Trump boosted optimism surrounding trade talks, with the September meeting between the leaders still on track. Measures announced by China to support its economy lifted the Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite.

US stocks followed suit, taking comfort from a jump in retail sales and by the bellwether company Walmart posting better-than-expected earnings. However, fears of a recession deepened as the US yield curve inverted for a second session in a row.

European markets positive

In London, an outage on the London Stock Exchange prevented trading but the mood was buoyed by unexpectedly strong retail sales in July, driven by a 12.7% (year-on-year) growth in online spending. Standard Life Aberdeen started its £200 million share buyback, and Ultra Electronics signed a $1bn deal with the US Navy. Acacia Mining won approval from the Tanzanian government to resume exports of gold from its North Mara mine.

European shares opened positively, on better news about the US-China trade dispute. The technology sector led the way on STOXX 600, with semiconductor companies AMS, Infineon Tech and STMicroelectronics making substantial gains, while chip maker Nvidia and chip gear maker Applied Materials delivered better-than-expected results.

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