Chinese stocks helped Asian markets trade in positive territory overnight, with the Chinese benchmark index hitting its highest level in almost two months after property developers and commodity producers rallied. Real Estate equities continued their strong run amid continued speculation the government will relax a ban on real estate companies raising funds through share sales.
Despite the positivity in most Asian markets, the Nikkei struggled, heading for a lower close as data from Japan showed the economy slowed more than forecast in the second quarter as businesses cut investment, undermining gains in consumer and government spending. The latest data adds to the debate on whether Japan is strong enough to sustain a planned 3 percent jump in sales tax – a decision Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs to make in the coming months.
European futures are also indicating higher open, tracking gains in Asia as investors digest last week’s reassuring Chinese data. Higher commodity prices will also help stocks in London once they open with gold climbing to the highest level this month.