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Asia – Pacific Stocks Record Gains on Calm of U.S – China Deal

Stocks in Asia Pacific turned positive in Tuesday morning trade during a turbulent session as White House advisor Peter Navarro clarified that the U.S.-China trade deal is not over.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index recovered from its earlier slip to rise 0.96%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% while the Topix index added 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 0.81%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed in morning trade, with the Shanghai composite down fractionally while the Shenzhen component rose 0.168%.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s Straits Times index was fractionally lower.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia advanced 0.34%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.73% higher.

Asia Pacific stocks fell into negative territory after a Monday interview with Trump’s advisor on Fox News’ “The Story.”

Fox’s Martha MacCallum asked, “Do you think that the president sort of- I mean, he obviously really wanted to hang onto this trade deal as much as possible. And he wanted them to make good on the promises, because there had been progress made on that trade deal, but given everything that’s happened and all the things you just listed, is that over?”

“It’s over. Yes,” Navarro responded.

In a statement to CNBC following the interview, Navarro said his comments were “taken wildly out of context.”

“I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world,” Navarro said.

Meanwhile, concerns around the coronavirus situation stateside also likely lingered. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned Monday that “additional measures are going to be necessary” if coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued spiking. That came as the states of Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona recently reported record-high single-day infections.

“Investors remain focused on the states re opening strategies with monitors such as restaurant diners tracked by OpenTable and mobility track(ed) by Apple all pointing to an increase in US economic activity,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

“Investors continue to see a high bar for the re-introduction of containment measures,” Catril said, highlighting White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow’s comments to CNBC on Monday that a “second wave” of coronavirus cases isn’t coming.