Asia Down as China Growth Weaker

Asia Pacific markets mostly declined on Friday by the close, as China released worse-than-expected gross domestic product figures, impacted by Beijing’s protracted trade conflict with the U.S.

The Nikkei 225 regained 40.82 points, or 0.2%, to 22,492.68.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.54, a touch stronger than 108.67 seen earlier.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index tumbled 128.91 points, or 0.5%, to 26,719.58. Property developers in Hong Kong pared some gains they made the day before. Shares of New World Development dropped 1.07%, Henderson Land fell 1.68% and CK Asset tumbled 0.46%.

In company news, Apple supplier TSMC forecast a nearly 10% rise in fourth-quarter revenue, with strong demand for faster smartphone chips and phones on the back of better-than-expected 5G smartphone growth momentum, its CEO said in an earnings briefing. The company reported a 12.6% rise in third-quarter revenue on Thursday.

TSMC shares were down 0.2% on Friday.

In Australia, the so-called Big Four banks pared earlier losses by the close, with shares of National Australia Bank declining 0.4%, Commonwealth Bank lost 0.6%, ANZ slid 0.7%, and Westpac shares was down 0.8%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6829 following a low of $0.6819 seen earlier.


The CSI 300 scaled back 55.84 points, or 1.4%, to 3,869.58

China released third-quarter GDP figures on Friday showing the economy grew 6.0% from a year ago — weaker than analyst expectations for 6.1%.

The country may now have to escalate stimulus in the next one to two quarters if it wants to set a growth target of between 5.5% and 6% for next year, Macquarie analysts wrote in a note on Friday afternoon.

Beijing’s protracted trade dispute with the U.S. has weighed on its economy, with growth slowing to 6.2% in the last quarter — its slowest pace in 27 years. China had emphasized Thursday that the U.S. must remove tariffs in order for the two countries to reach a final agreement on trade.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex lost 6.66 points, or 0.1%, to 11,180.22

In Korea, the Kospi doffed 17.25 points, or 0.8%, to 2,060.69

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 11.98 points, or 0.4%, to 3,114.16

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 deleted 74.74 points, or 0.7%, to 11,067.13

In Australia, the ASX 200 dipped 35 points, or 0.5%, to 6,649.68