China Soars on Official Data

China shares climbed Monday in a mixed trading session across the Asia-Pacific as official data showed the world’s second largest economy grew faster than expected between October and December.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regrouped 208.24 points, or 0.7%, to 28,333.52.

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen changed hands at 114.34, strengthening from levels near 115.5 in the previous week.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropped 165.29 points, or 0.7%, to 24,218.03.

Australian markets gained as the heavily-weighted financials sub-index gained 0.6% and the energy sector was up 1.4%.

The Australian dollar traded up 0.15% at $0.7217.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 recovered 40.55 points, or 0.9%, to 4,767.26.

Numbers from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed the Chinese economy grew by 8.1% in 2021, slightly below the market’s expectation for around 8.4% growth for the year. In the fourth quarter, China’s GDP rose 4% from a year ago, topping a Reuters poll that predicted a 3.6% increase.

Industrial production also rose and beat expectations, but retail sales had a more muted growth.

Economists were expecting Monday’s data dump to underline a slowdown in growth, in part due to factors like China’s strict measures to contain the omicron Covid variant as well as problems in its property sector and sluggish consumption.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index slipped 31.82 points, or 1.1%, to 2,890.10.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index regained 122.11 points, or 0.7%, to 18,525.44

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index eked higher 5.98 points, or 0.2%, to 3,287.95.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 revived 16.74 points, or 0.1%, to 12,806.90.

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 23.45 points, or 0.3%, at 7,417.31