Sun, 29 Mar 2020

China's GDP slips, stocks in Asia still finish ahead

Lola Evans
17 Jan 2020, 18:25 GMT+10

SYDNEY, Australia - Stock markets in Asia finished in the black on Friday, despite the release of economic data in Beijing showing China's economy last year grew at it's lowest level in three decades.

Growth slowed to 6.1% in 2019, nearly 10% lower than the previous year which recorded growth at 6.60%.

It was the lowest level of GDP growth since 1990.

The punishing trade war with the United States has been blamed for the build-up in the slide over the past eighteen months. The ramifications of the ructions are still to be felt in the year ahead, as the trade differences between the two countries have only been partly addressed.

"We expect China's growth rate will come further down to below 6%" in the coming year, Masaaki Kanno, chief economist at Sony Financial Holdings in Tokyo told the Reuters Thomson news agency on Friday.

"The Chinese economy is unlikely to fall abruptly because of ... government policies, but at the same time the trend of a further slowdown of the economy will remain unchanged," Kanno said.

At the close of trading Friday, China's Shanghai Composite finished flat, rising just 1.41 points or 0.05% to 3,075.54.

Elsewhere in the region, in Japan the Nikkei 225 gained 108.13 points o r0.45% to 24,041.26.

The Australian All Ordinaries rose 21.70 points or 0.30% to 7,180.30.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng jumped 173.36 points or 0.60% to 29,056.42.

On foreign exchnage markets, ther commodity currencies shrugged off the data out of China. The Canadian dollar strengthened to 1.3035.

The Australian dollar rose to 0.6907, while across the Tasman, the New Zealand dollar was higher at 0.6647.

The euro was little changed at 1.1131. The British pound climbed to 1.3083.

Th Japanese yen was little changed at 110.23. The Swioss franc dipped to 0.9658.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 267.42 points, or 0.92%, at 29,297.64.

The Standard and Poors 500 rose 27.52 points, or 0.84%, to 3,316.81.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 98.44 points, or 1.06%, to 9,357.13.

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