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Stocks mixed as Chinese economy slows to weakest since 90

Stocks mixed as Chinese economy slows to weakest since  90
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BANGKOK -- World stocks were subdued Monday after China reported that its economy expanded by 6.6 per cent in 2018, its slowest pace since the slump that followed the crackdown on protests centred on Tiananmen Square in 1989.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany s DAX fell 0.5 per cent to 11,155 while the CAC 40 in France slipped 0.2 per cent to 4,866. Britain s FTSE 100 added 0.1 per cent to 6,976. Wall Street was due to remain closed for Martin Luther King Jr Day.

THE DAY IN ASIA: The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 per cent to 2,610.51 and Hong Kong s Hang Seng index climbed 0.3 per cent to 27,196.54. Japan s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 per cent to 20,719.33, while South Korea s Kospi was flat at 2,124.61. The S&P ASX 200 in Australia added 0.2 per cent to 5,890.40. India s Sensex surged 0.7 per cent to 36,633.37. Shares rose in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

CHINA S ECONOMY: The 6.6 per cent expansion of the world s second-largest economy was down from 2017 s 6.9 per cent. China s communist leaders are trying to steer the country to slower, more self-sustaining growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment. But the slowdown has been sharper than expected, prompting Beijing to ease lending controls and step up government spending to shore up growth and avoid politically dangerous job losses. The lacklustre data raised hopes for more policy action.

CHINA-U.S. TRADE: Stock markets had been buoyed Friday by a Bloomberg News report that Chinese officials offered to buy more goods and services from the U.S., potentially eliminating its trade deficit by 2024. The Chinese government says the top trade envoys from both countries will meet at the end of January. The U.S. trade deficit with China grew to a record $323.3 billion in 2018. The two countries have raised taxes on billions of dollars of each other s goods in the spat over the trade deficit, Beijing s manufacturing plans, and U.S. complaints that China steals technology from foreign companies.

ENERGY: U.S. crude lost 15 cents to $53.65 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 3.3 per cent on Friday to $54.04 in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 19 cents to $62.51 per barrel. It added 2.5 per cent to $62.70 a barrel in London on Friday.
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