Chinese GDP growth slightly ahead of expectations

Wednesday 16 July 2014 08.40
Chinese retail sales and industrial output beat forecasts
Chinese retail sales and industrial output beat forecasts

Asian stocks have held stubbornly steady after China reported economic growth that was just ahead of market expectations, drawing a sigh of relief from investors rather than outright applause.

China's economy expanded by 2% in the second quarter from the previous quarter, taking annual growth to 7.5%. 

Retail sales and industrial output were either in line with forecasts or slightly higher.

The data confirmed the Asian giant had stabilised after a shaky start to the year but still left the global outlook cloudy, particularly given recent weakness in the euro zone.

"The GDP figure is in line with our expectation, but the underlying momentum and recovery is still at a fragile state, especially given the property market correction," said Chang Jian, an analyst at Barclays based in Hong Kong.

"The recovery is quite dependent on the government support."

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2% while Japan's Nikkei eased 0.1%.

Markets in China managed only a muted cheer and the Shanghai index dipped 0.29%.