Asian stocks mostly up, but traders shrug off China GDP

Asian stocks mostly up, but traders shrug off China GDP

HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose on Wednesday but early gains were pared as dealers shrugged off news that China’s economy had stabilised in the third quarter.Figures showing 6.7 per cent growth during July-September came as a relief following a years-long slowdown in China that has been a major drag on economies from Asia to the Americas.While that figure is within the government’s target of 6.5-7.0 per cent for the year, it compares to the 6.9 per cent annual rate in 2015, the slowest pace in a quarter of a century.Analysts said there was little in the data to drive any big moves and Beijing would likely delay any fresh stimulus measures.”China won’t do anything new in terms of policy because the economy isn’t sliding,” Ben Kwong, a Hong Kong-based director at KGI Asia, told Bloomberg News. “Under these conditions, the market doesn’t really have a direction. It needs to wait for news on US rates.”Shanghai ended flat and Hong Kong gave up 0.4 per cent.However, Tokyo closed 0.2 per cent higher and Sydney – where several listed firms have interests in China – rose 0.5 per cent. Seoul was slightly higher, Singapore put on 0.5 per cent. Taipei added 0.7 per cent and Manila soared 1.8 per cent.DOLLAR STRUGGLESChina’s yuan benefited from the data release, climbing against the dollar for the first time in eight sessions.The dollar struggled to recover from Tuesday’s losses against the yen after dealers were left unimpressed by US inflation data which analysts said did nothing to strengthen the case for a US interest rate rise.A below-forecast reading on producer inflation “was not sufficient to derail the prospects of a December Fed liftoff, but certainly continues to support the gradual and flat pace of rate hikes into 2017″, Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA, said in a note.The dollar also suffered selling against most high-yielding Asia-Pacific currencies, with the South Korean won up 0.6 per cent and Indonesia’s rupiah gaining 0.1 per cent. There were also healthy gains for Thailand’s baht and the Malaysian ringgit.However, the US unit made inroads against the euro and pound, which rallied Tuesday on a near two-year high reading on British inflation.Forex traders will be keenly following a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday…

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