BEIJING (AP) — World stocks rose Tuesday as optimism China and the United States might take new steps to stimulate growth offset weak U.S. data and the IMF's gloomier outlook for world growth.
Expectations of possible Chinese stimulus measures rose after Premier Wen Jiabao's weekend promise of tax breaks and other aid to struggling small businesses. China's second-quarter growth fell to a three-year low of 7.6 percent but analysts said a rebound might be in sight.
"There is strong evidence suggesting that growth remains solid and its momentum is rebounding. Beijing is bound to do more to ensure that this continues," said Credit Agricole CIB economist Dariusz Kowalczyk in a report.
There are also hopes U.S. Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke will hint at the possibility of additional stimulus for the American economy when he addresses Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Europe, Germany's DAX gained 0.4 percent to 6,591.64 and France's CAC-40 added 0.3 percent to 3,188.23. London's FTSE 100 lost just under 0.1 percent to 5,662.43. Wall Street was set to gain with Dow futures up 0.5 percent at 12,708 and S&P 500 futures 0.5 percent higher at 1,354.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 8,755.00 and China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent to 2,161.19. South Korea's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 1,821.96 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8 percent to 19,455.33.
Among other Asian markets, Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.5 percent to 3,013.20 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 0.9 percent to 4,140.80.
Gains in markets came despite overnight declines on Wall Street after weaker-than-expected June retail sales and the International Monetary Fund's decision to reduce its global growth forecast.
The U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales fell for a third month, declining 0.5 percent. Forecasters had expected a 0.2 percent gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq both lost 0.4 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 0.2 percent.
The IMF reduced its outlook for global growth to 3.5 percent from its April forecast of 3.6 percent. It cut growth forecasts for China, India and Brazil.
Worries about the U.S. economy have dominated markets, alongside Europe's debt crisis and China's cooling growth.
Investors are watching for details of Spain's bank bailout. This week, the 17 countries that use the euro are expected to give Spain 30 billion euros as part of a larger bailout for its banks.
Benchmark crude was up 11 cents at $88.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.33 to end at $88.43 in New York on Monday. Brent crude was up 37 cents at $103.74 on the ICE futures exchange in London.
In currency markets, the dollar rose 0.2 percent to 79.01 yen and the euro gained 0.3 percent to $1.230.