Asia Markets

Asia Pacific stocks rise as Peter Navarro says U.S.-China trade deal is still in place; Tencent surges to record high

Key Points
  • Stocks in Asia Pacific were higher on Tuesday following a turbulent session as White House advisor Peter Navarro clarified that the U.S.-China trade deal is not over.
  • "Phase one remains in place. We are trying to execute on that," Navarro told NBC News.
  • Stocks in the region had earlier fallen into negative territory after Navarro's Monday interview on Fox News' "The Story."

Stocks in Asia Pacific were higher on Tuesday following 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 led gains among the region's major markets as it rose 1.62% to close at 24,907.34. Shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent soared to a new record, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon. It rose as high as 498.60 Hong Kong dollars per share before finishing the trading day 4.89% higher.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.18% to around 2,970.62 while the Shenzhen component rose 0.782% to about 11,794.01.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to close at 22,549.05 while the Topix index added 0.51% to finish its trading day at 1,587.14. South Korea's Kospi also gained 0.21% to close at 2,131.24.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.17% higher at 5,954.40.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index added 0.96%.

US-China trade deal confusion

The moves regionally came after Navarro told NBC News that his earlier comments during a Fox News interview "had nothing to do with the trade deal at all."

"Phase one remains in place. We are trying to execute on that," Navarro told NBC News.

Asia Pacific stocks fell into negative territory after his Monday interview 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.

U.S. President Donald Trump also chimed in on the subject, saying in a tweet that the "China Trade Deal is fully intact."

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.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.848 after touching an earlier high of 97.245.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.06 per dollar after touching an earlier high of 106.72 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.692 following an earlier low of $0.6857.

Oil prices edged higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.65% to $43.36 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also added 0.64% to $40.99 per barrel.

— CNBC's Christine Wang contributed to this report.