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American Express Company NYSE:AXP, Alibaba NYSE:BABA - The Market In 5 Minutes: Baby We Were Born To Run

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Macro Focus

Asian stocks closed flat to slightly lower on Friday after data from China's government showed the economy grew 6.7 percent on-year in the first quarter. The government's figure was in-line with expectations, but marking a decrease from the 6.8 percent growth seen in the prior quarter.

Light Sweet Crude oil futures were trading in positive territory during Asian hours but lost more than 1.50 percent and were trading at $40.80 a barrel by 7 a.m. ET Friday. Naturally, this weekend's meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to discuss a potential freeze of production levels is keeping commodity investors on edge.

"China posted its slowest economic growth since 2009 but a surge of new debt appears to be fueling a recovery in factory activity, investment and household spending in the world's second largest economy," Reuters said. "That's good news in the near-term, economists say, but many worry it marks a return to the old playbook used during the financial crisis, when...