HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets were mixed Tuesday as data showing China’s economy growing at its slowest pace in five years offset another positive lead from Wall Street.
After the wild swings of last week that were fuelled by global growth fears, Monday’s hefty advances across the region raised hopes shares were on a more even keel as the earnings season approaches.
But Tokyo slipped 2.03 per cent, or 306.95 points, to 14,804.28 a day after clocking up a gain of almost four per cent, while Seoul shed 0.77 per cent, or 14.78 points, to 1,915.28.
Shanghai dipped 0.72 per cent, or 17.07 points, to 2,339.66.Hong Kong ended marginally higher, adding 18.32 points to 23,088.58.
Sydney ended up 0.11 per cent, adding 5.6 points to 5,325.0.
Stocks surged on Monday in response to Friday’s Wall Street advance that was propelled by bargain-hunting and upbeat US corporate results.
However, another day of gains in New York was unable to give the same lift to Asia on Tuesday. The Dow rose 0.12 per cent, the S&P 500 added 0.91 per cent and the Nasdaq jumped 1.35 per cent.
In Beijing, the National Bureau of Statistics said the economy grew 7.3 per cent year-on-year in July-September, lower than the 7.5 per cent expansion in the previous three months and the slowest since the 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
But it exceeded the median forecast of 7.2 per cent in an AFP survey of 17 economists, and some analysts said upbeat industrial production figures suggested the slowdown may have bottomed out.
“The momentum of the economy bottoming out and stabilising is now relatively clear,” Ma Xiaoping, a Beijing-based economist for British bank HSBC, told AFP. “Currently there’s no risk of an accelerated slowdown.”
China is a crucial driver of world growth and any weakness fuels concerns about its knock-on effect for other countries, from the United States to the eurozone to Australia.
On currency markets the dollar fell to 106.56 yen from 106.92 yen in New York and well below the 107.10 yen earlier Monday in Asia.
The euro bought $1.2819 and 136.61 yen against $1.2800 and 136.86 yen.
Oil prices were mixed. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 31 cents to $82.40 a barrel and Brent crude for December added 95 cents to $85.35.