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, +0.21%

  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, -0.09%

  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, -0.40%

  was flat as well, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.23%

 , Singapore

STI, -0.37%

 , Indonesia

JAKIDX, +0.13%

  and Malaysia

FBMKLCI, -0.22%

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

XJO, -0.59%

  slipped 0.6%.

Among individual stocks, robotics maker Fanuc

6954, +2.21%

  gained in Tokyo trading, along with Rakuten

4755, +2.23%

  and Fast Retailing

9983, +1.89%

 . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical

2382, +1.36%

  and AIA

1299, +0.13%

  gained, while property developers such as Wharf Real Estate

1997, -1.22%

  retreated after big gains Thursday. Kia Motors

000270, +0.49%

  gained in South Korea, while Westpac

WBC, -0.93%

  and Commonwealth Bank

CBA, -0.81%

  slipped in Australia.

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2019-10-17