Weak Chinese data drags down Shanghai stocks
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.4 per cent to 2,486, after China reported a muted rise in industrial output and retail sales.
Output rose 7.7 per cent year on year, undershooting economists’ expectations of an 8% rise, while retail sales were up 11.5 per cent instead of a predicted 11.6 per cent increase. At the same time, fixed asset investment fell to 15.9 per cent from 16.1 per cent the previous month.
The weaker data supports the concerns of economists China may be facing a significant slowdown from its multi-year strong GDP growth.
However, the offshore Hong Kong market managed to shrug off the weak data, as investors continued to favour these shares ahead of the planned Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect programme launch expected next week. The Hang Seng is up 0.3%.
Meanwhile, Japanese stocks have continued to rally, up 1.1 per cent on Thursday to 17,393, extending a winning streak which saw the Nikkei index rise to seven-year highs on Tuesday.
The continued rally followed a report by the local media of an upcoming snap election in Japan, which is said to have been discussed all week.