Weak Chinese GDP weighs on Asian markets, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

The prospect of a Brexit deal and strong earnings on Wall Street should have allowed the week to end on a high note, but Chinese economic data spoilt the party.

China's third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) missed estimates, with growth slowing to 6 per cent - the weakest reading since 1992.

The downbeat mood saw the Straits Times Index (STI) open 0.1 per cent lower and carry on sliding to finish at 3,114.16, down 11.98 points or 0.38 per cent, and little moved from last Friday's close of 3,113.97.

Elsewhere, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea finished lower. The Shanghai Composite Index had its worst showing in a month after the bleak GDP data release, shedding 1.3 per cent, but Japan's Nikkei 225 bucked the trend on gains made by tech companies.

While the Chinese GDP was a disappointment, other Chinese economic data releases - industrial production and retail sales - beat expectations.

Industrial production continued to be driven by significant infrastructure spending, while retail sales were boosted by purchases of essential items.

"While risk assets are not flashing all green, markets can breathe a sigh of relief," said AxiTrader Asia-Pacific market strategist Stephen Innes. "At least for (Friday), markets have dodged a massive macro bullet out of China."

Chinese fiscal stimulus through measures such as infrastructure projects is set to be a central pillar of growth in this quarter despite uncertainty over the trade war, noted ING Greater China economist ....

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