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.”
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
fell 0.1% giving up early gains, while the Shanghai Composite
fell 0.2% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
was last about flat. South Korea’s Kospi
was flat as well, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
Among individual stocks, robotics maker Fanuc
gained in Tokyo trading, along with Rakuten
and Fast Retailing
. In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical
gained, while property developers such as Wharf Real Estate
retreated after big gains Thursday. Kia Motors
gained in South Korea, while Westpac
and Commonwealth Bank
slipped in Australia.