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Asian Stocks Down, China GDP Growth Misses Expectations

·2 min read

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Monday morning, as energy prices continue to soar and add to inflationary pressure concerns.

China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.66% by 10:31 PM ET (2:31 AM GMT) and the SZSE Component fell 1.10%. Data released earlier in the day said that the GDP grew a smaller-than-expected 0.2% quarter-on-quarter and 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021.

Industrial production grew 3.1% year-on-year, retail sales grew 4.4% year-on-year in September and the unemployment rate was at 4.9%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.85%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.30% and South Korea’s KOSPI inched down 0.10%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was up 0.28%.

With the Chinese data closely watched to gauge the severity of a global energy crunch in the country, People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang Yi said on Sunday that China's economy was "doing well", but it faces challenges such as default risks for certain firms due to "mismanagement”.

However, the risks posed to the Chinese economy and financial system from China Evergrande Group’s debt woes can be contained, he added.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the consumer price index grew a higher-than-expected 4.9% year-on-year and 2.2% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter.

Despite the increasing risk appetite, concerns about inflation amid a continuing global energy crunch and uneven economic recovery from COVID-19 continue to weigh on investor sentiment. This comes as key central banks prepare to begin asset tapering.

“Sentiment really got quite bearish. Markets are feeling reasonably emboldened by the fact that we are probably going to see some reasonably robust results from U.S. corporates this quarter.” IG Group market analyst Kyle Rodda told Bloomberg.

“But the longer-term issue remains what is happening with the global supply shock brought upon by COVID-19, the inflation pressure that’s coming about from that, and the very fine line that the U.S. Federal Reserve is walking to try and tamp down these inflation risks, while at the same time not stepping on the recovery or undermining financial market strength.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will take part in a policy panel discussion on Friday. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the central bank will “have to act” to curb inflationary pressure and warned that higher energy costs will mean price pressures will continue.

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