Asian Markets Rise; China’s GDP Eyed

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By Alex Ho – Asian markets advanced in morning trade on Friday. Chinese stocks x as all eyes will be on the release of the country’s GDP data for the fourth quarter.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component traded 0.4% and 0.1% higher respectively by 8:35 PM ET (02:35 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1%.

A Reuters poll predicted China’s GDP in the fourth quarter grew 6% from a year earlier. That would be unchanged from the pace in the third quarter, which was believed to be its slowest GDP gain in at least 27½ years.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5%. South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.6%.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher as the signing of the phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China continued to provide support to the markets.

“This is a very important and remarkable occasion,” U.S. President Donald Trump said during the signing ceremony at the White House on Wednesday. Fixing what he sees as the injustices of past trade deals is “probably the biggest reason why I ran for president,” he added. “Together we are righting the wrongs of the past.”

Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. slashes tariffs on $120 billion in Chinese goods to 7.5% from 15%. In exchange, China agreed to increase purchases in the U.S. by $200 billion over the next two years in manufactured goods, agriculture, energy and services.

However, gains were limited as some analysts called the deal “fragile” as it includes an option for China to exit the trade deal should the U.S. re-impose tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.92% higher to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index added 0.84%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 1.06%.

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