Global Stocks See Boost From China Retail Surprise, Wall Street Strength

People walk along a street surrounded by shops and malls in Shanghai on Jul.

31, 2020.

AFP via Getty Images

Global stocks rose on Tuesday, with the retail sector in the spotlight after China reported its first growth since the pandemic, and fashion chain H&M surging after saying it will be profitable in the August-ending quarter. Wall Street also has its eye on industrial production figures for the month of August, which are due to be released at 9:15 a.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting also kicks off today. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 200 points, or 0.7%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.8% and Nasdaq Composite futures were up 1.2%. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4% in Tokyo while the Hang Seng rose 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite added 0.5%.

China reported a 0.5% increase in retail sales during August, alongside continued growth on the production side, as industrial output improved by 5.6% year-over-year. “The available details show that household spending was fairly strong across-the-board last month, with only jewelry and furniture sales slipping month-over-month in real terms, on our adjustment. To be sure, July was weak, setting the stage for a bounce in all product groups,” said Miguel Chanco, senior Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The Australian dollar, which is sensitive to China’s economy due to the commodities it ships to the world’s number-two economy, rose after the better-than-expected Chinese data. Oil also advanced, with West Texas Intermediate crude climbing 1.5% and Brent crude gaining 1.2%. In Europe, H&M shares jumped in Stockholm as the Swedish fashion retailer said its Aug.

31-ending quarter was stronger than expected, helped by well-received collections, more full-price sales and cost control. Rival Inditex, which owns Zara, also rose. The Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.7%.

Apple (ticker: AAPL) shares were up 2% premarket ahead of the company’s product launch event, where it is expected to unveil new Apple Watch models and possibly a new iPad. Nikola (NKLA) shares slid 5.8% premarket despite soaring 11.4% Monday after the company released a report that refuted claims made by a short seller last week. Citigroup (C) shares gained 1.2% following reports that it plans to resume layoffs, which will affect less than 1% of the company.

The move comes as Citigroup is finding itself under pressure to improve its risk management systems. Lennar (LEN) shares slid 3.8%, despite reporting better-than-expected earnings due to a booming housing market. The company will host a conference call at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

Write to Steve Goldstein at sgoldstein@marketwatch.com and Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com

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