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Asian markets lacked clear direction on Tuesday despite China’s reading on first-quarter gross domestic product growth, which came in at 6.8 per cent, above the government’s target.
Analysts at Nomura said the stable first-quarter growth “was supported mainly by the new economy components”, but added that “weaker March activity data support our view that there will be an economic slowdown ahead, driven by cooling investment growth, financing deleveraging, structural reforms which bring short-term pain, and rising trade protectionism.”
After an initial climb into positive territory following the data release, the Hang Seng index was flat in Hong Kong, while on the mainland the CSI 300 index of large-cap China-listed stocks was down 0.5 per cent.
Tokyo’s Topix shed 0.2 per cent as the financials segment dropped 0.6 per cent and telecoms stocks fell 0.4 per cent.
But in Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.3 per cent as mining stocks gained 0.5 per cent and telecoms rose 0.9 per cent.