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Asian markets mixed after decades-worst GDP growth by China

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Asian markets were mixed in early trading Friday, as new data showed worse-than-expected economic growth in China.

China’s economy expanded at a 6% rate year-over-year, official data showed, less than the median 6.1% forecast by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal, and the worst pace of growth since the first quarter of 1992. It was the second straight month of weaker year-on-year data. China expects annual GDP growth of 6% to 6.5% this year, down from last year’s 6.6% growth.

Still, investors appeared relieved the numbers weren’t worse, considering the ongoing tariff war with the U.S. and signs of a global slowdown.

“While the GDP is testing the lower bound of the official annual 6-6.5% target, today’s data suggests there is a very limited risk of breaching the lower bounds of that target this year,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist for AxiTrader, wrote in a note. “While risk asset is not flashing all green, markets can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Japan’s Nikkei












NIK, +0.56%










  rose 0.6% as a core inflation reading fell to 0.3% in September, the lowest level since April 2017, but in line with analysts’ expectations. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index












HSI, -0.15%










  fell 0.1% giving up early gains, while the Shanghai Composite












SHCOMP, -0.59%










 fell 0.2% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite












399106, -0.45%










  was last about flat. South Korea’s Kospi












180721, -0.01%










  was flat as well, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan












Y9999, -0.18%










 , Singapore












STI, -0.37%










 , Indonesia












JAKIDX, +0.23%










  and Malaysia












FBMKLCI, -0.24%










  were little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200












XJO, -0.65%










  slipped 0.6%.

Among individual stocks, robotics maker Fanuc












6954, +2.52%










  gained in Tokyo trading, along with Rakuten












4755, +2.52%










  and Fast Retailing












9983, +1.74%










 . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical












2382, +1.36%










  and AIA












1299, +0.33%










  gained, while property developers such as Wharf Real Estate












1997, -1.33%










  retreated after big gains Thursday. Kia Motors












000270, +0.49%










  gained in South Korea, while Westpac












WBC, -1.20%










  and Commonwealth Bank












CBA, -0.96%










  slipped in Australia.

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