Asia Gains on China Data

Shares in Asia-Pacific edged higher on Friday as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data.

The Nikkei 225 gained 40.68 points, or 0.1%, to 29,683.37.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.87 per U.S. dollar, having strengthened from levels above 109.6 against the greenback earlier in the trading week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index regained 176.57 points, or 0.6%, to 28.969.71.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.774, above levels below $0.768 seen earlier this week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 recovered 17.21 points, or 0.4%, to 4,966.18

China’s gross domestic product surged 18.3% in the first three months of the year from a year ago, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. That was slightly lower than expectations for a 19% increase, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

Meanwhile, retail sales jumped 34.2% in March, beating expectations of 28% growth. Industrial production missed expectations as it rose 14.1% in March, against Reuters’ prediction of 17.2% growth.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times index added 16.99 points, or 0.5%, to 3,201.76

In Korea, the Kospi index eked up 4.29 points, or 0.1%, to 3,201/76.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index leaped 82.08 points, or 0.5%, to 17.158.81

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 restocked 48.18 points, or 0.4%, to 12,684.73.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched ahead 4.83 points, or 0.1%, to 7,063.45.