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Asia stocks gain despite sluggish Chinese economic growth

Asia stocks gain despite sluggish Chinese economic growth

Asian stocks gained on Monday in morning session amid optimism over progress in the US-China trade dispute even as Beijing announced its official economic growth came in at 6.6% in 2018 - the slowest pace since 1990.

The mainland Chinese markets saw gains, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.49%. Shenzhen component and Shenzhen composite both advanced more than 0.8%. China’s economic growth announcement was highly anticipated by many around the world amid Beijing’s ongoing trade dispute with the US.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.57% while the Topix index rose 0.91%. Shares of automaker Nissan advanced more than 0.3% after details of former chief executive Carlos Ghosn’s renewed bail request emerged.

In South Korea, however, the Kospi recovered from earlier losses to trade largely flat. Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 rose more than 0.3%, with most sectors seeing gains.

Australian oil stocks gained as the energy subindex advanced 0.36%. Crude oil prices gained on Friday following news that China has put forward a plan to eliminate its trade surplus with the US.

Investors are also waiting to hear British Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘Plan B’ for Brexit which is due to be presented to parliament later on Monday. The uncertainty kept sterling sidelined at $1.2860, having briefly been as high as $1.3000 last week.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday there has been progress toward a trade deal with China, but denied that he was considering lifting tariffs.

The dollar held firm on the yen at 109.63, while the euro was near the floor of its recent trading range at $1.1375. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was a shade softer at 96.274.

In commodity markets, spot gold was steady at $1,282.60 per ounce.

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