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China data show slowing, but markets cheer the numbers

Chinese economic data out Tuesday showed slowing, but stocks mostly improved as some of the numbers were better than expected. Third-quarter gross domestic product rose 7.3% compared to the year-earlier period, easing from 7.5% growth in the second quarter but slightly besting a 7.2% rate predicted in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. September industrial output saw a bigger beat, rising 8% from a year earlier to rebound from August's 6.9% growth and surpass a 7.5% increase tipped in separate Reuters and Wall Street Journal polls. September retail sales slowed from August, however, rising 11.6% from a year earlier, compared to the previous month's 11.9% increase. Reuters had tipped an 11.7% gain. Fixed-asset investment, a gauge of construction activity reported on a year-to-date basis, was up 16.1% in the January-September period, just below a 16.2% prediction in the Wall Street Journal survey. Following the numbers, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.06%was up 0.5%, improving on a 0.3% gain ahead of the data. The Australian dollarAUDUSD, +0.35% often sensitive to economic news from Australia's top trading partner, rose to 88.03 U.S. cents from 87.75 U.S. cents, while the S&P/ASX 200XJO, +0.11% was up 0.2% in Sydney, compared to a 0.1% rise pre-data. The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.72% however, held to a 0.1% advance.

By

MICHAEL KITCHEN

ASIA EDITOR