Mainland China equity market closed higher on Monday, 21 January 2019, as optimism grew over a breakthrough in efforts to defuse a US-China trade war and hopes the government will step in with stimulus after the Chinese economy slumped to its slowest rate of annual growth in almost three decades. At closing bell, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.56%, or 14.50 points, to 2,610.51. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, was up 0.61%, or 8.03 points, to 1,330.17. The blue-chip CSI300 index added 0.55%, or 17.47 points, to 3,185.64.
Investors risk sentiments were encouraged on optimism the government will deploy fresh stimulus to shore up the country's economy after Chinese growth slumped to its slowest rate of annual growth in almost three decades,
China's economy grew at its slowest pace in almost three decades in 2018, losing more steam in the last quarter as it battles to quell massive debt and a US trade war, official data showed Monday.
The 6.6% growth comes in above the official target of around 6.5%, but is down from the 6.8% chalked up in 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Retail sales growth slowed to 9%, down from a 10.2% increase the previous year. In December 2018, sales grew 8.2%. Output at factories and workshops ticked up 6.2% for the year, down from 6.6% in 2017.
Shares in Chinese consumer firms extend gains despite the soft GDP figures as investors expect more stimulus measure to spur the country's consumption. China's Finance Ministry on Friday announced further tax cuts for small companies as part of an effort to create jobs and promote economic stability.
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