StockMarketNews.Today – Asia-Pacific equities were mostly lower after official Chinese data showed the country’s economy expanded by 6.7 per cent in the second quarter, its slowest pace since 2016.
The GDP reading reflected the impact of an aggressive deleveraging campaign on reduced investment in infrastructure and manufacturing.
“Global trade headwinds have yet to grip China’s economy,” said Tom Rafferty, Economist Intelligence Unit’s China general manager, adding he was more concerned about “slowing domestic demand within China’s economy”.
Mr Rafferty said investment was persistently weak and consumption had also eased. ”These are much more important drivers of growth than exports.”
The CSI 300 index of major Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks was down 0.5 per cent with the technology segment still up 1.3 per cent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng China Enterprises index was off 0.7 per cent while the broader Hang Seng index dropped 0.2 per cent.
Also in Hong Kong, shares in ZTE rallied as much as 16.6 per cent after the US on Friday cleared the path for the Chinese telecoms company to restart operations.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi slumped almost 10 per cent in Hong Kong following a decision by the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges that companies with dual-class share structures would be ineligible for trading through the Stock Connect links with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.5 per cent with gains for telecoms and consumer stocks failing to offset declines for the key financials and basic materials segments.
The market moves across the region followed a weak session for financial stocks on Friday in the US as the sector kicked off the quarterly earnings season, although the main US indices ended last week on a positive note, the S&P 500 at a five-month high and the Nasdaq Composite hitting a record peak.
Markets in Japan were closed for a national holiday.
Foreign exchange markets were steady. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peers, was flat. The Japanese yen was a touch weaker against the dollar at ¥112.46.
In China, the onshore renminbi exchange rate, which moves within a trading band of 2 per cent to either side of a midpoint, was steady at Rmb6.6893 against the dollar.
The New Zealand and Australian currencies were basically unmoved against their US counterpart, at $0.6761 and $0.7418, respectively.
Oil prices edged lower. Brent crude was down 0.5 per cent at $74.93 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate also dipped 0.5 per cent to $70.63.
Gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,243 an ounce.