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China's growth slows to 7.4 percent in 1Q
BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses.
04/16/2014 12:23 AM

Asia shares rise, shrug off slower China growth

People stand at a barricade at the regional administration building that they had seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Several government buildings have fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)TOKYO (AP) — Shares rose Wednesday in Asia, led by Japan's Nikkei 225 index, as investors largely shrugged off news that China's economy slowed in the first quarter.

04/16/2014 12:09 AM

BOJ Kuroda says watching stock price moves carefully
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday that he did not think the central bank's extraordinary monetary stimulus was fuelling speculative moves in the market, although he added he will monitor stock price moves carefully. "Stock prices have risen compared with before new policies under 'Abenomics' were implemented. Market volatility may have heightened too, but that hasn't had a big negative impact on the economy," Kuroda told a parliamentary session. "I won't comment directly on stock price moves but hope to pay close attention to stock market moves," he said.
04/15/2014 11:22 PM

Instant View: China GDP growth slows in first quarter
China's annual economic growth slowed to an 18-month low of 7.4 percent in the January to March quarter of 2014, just above market expectations, confirming the world's second-largest economy lost momentum at the start of 2014. The government has already taken some steps to stabilize the economy, and has said that this year's growth target of 7.5 percent is approximate. KEY POINTS Q1 GDP +7.4 pct y/y (forecast +7.3 pct, previous qtr +7.7 pct) Q1 GDP +1.4 pct q/q (forecast +1.4 pct) March industrial output +8.8 pct y/y (forecast +9.0 pct) March retail sales +12.2 pct y/y (forecast +12.1 pct) Jan-March fixed-asset investment +17.6 pct y/y (forecast +18.1 pct) COMMENTARY TOMMY XIE, ECONOMIST, OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION, SINGAPORE: "Judging from quarter-on-quarter reading, the 1.4 percent has been the slowest since China officially released the quarter-on-quarter reading from the fourth quarter 2010. "Given China has already rolled out the mini fiscal stimulus back in March, it may take some time for the fixed investment to rebound from the low of 17.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter.
04/15/2014 11:03 PM

China economic growth slows to 18-month low in first quarter

Shipping container is lifted by a crane at a port in LianyungangBy Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed on Wednesday, with signs of waning momentum already prompting limited government action to steady the world's second-largest economy. Authorities have ruled out major stimulus to fight short-term dips in growth, and some analysts think the economy will continue to lose momentum into the middle of the year. It was China's slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when growth was also 7.4 percent. "I don't think they're going to announce any further significant measures to support growth." Beijing has announced some modest measures, such as tax cuts for small firms and speeding up some investment in rail projects, to try to steady growth around its target of 7.5 percent without disrupting plans to restructure the economy.

04/15/2014 10:52 PM

Asian shares offer muted cheer to China growth

Eemployee of a foreign exchange trading company works behind monitors in TokyoBy Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian share markets were mostly in the black on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter, from a year earlier, pipping forecasts of 7.3 percent. "But the problem is that the government has to resort to stimulus repeatedly to support the economy (which) means it's having a hard time to unleash new growth drivers." The relief rippled through regional markets with Japan's Nikkei adding to early gains to be up 2.2 percent. Yahoo Inc jumped 10 percent thanks to strong results from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese e-commerce company in which Yahoo holds a 24 percent stake.

04/15/2014 10:49 PM

HKMA steps up supervision of banks' credit risk management

A security guard walks past a directory board of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in Hong KongBy Jacqueline Poh HONG KONG, April 16 (RLPC) - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is stepping up its supervision of Hong-Kong-based banks' credit risk management by asking banks to show stable funding requirements and agree to regular onsite examinations of credit underwriting processes and stress-testing, the HKMA said in a statement. These measures come after a steep rise in offshore lending to Chinese mainland companies by Hong Kong-based banks. Chinese onshore companies borrowed HK$2.276 trillion of customer loans at the end of 2013, excluding HK$313 billion of trade finance loans, according to the HKMA. "The increase in Hong Kong banking sector's mainland-related lending is a natural consequence of the growth of the mainland economy and development of mainland corporates," said HKMA, which reinforces Hong Kong's role as a significant international financial center.

04/15/2014 10:44 PM

China statistics bureau: Q1 GDP growth still within targeted range
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economic growth in the first quarter was within range, and the employment situation remained stable and inflation under control, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday. "Although economic growth slowed in the first quarter, in general, it stayed in a reasonable range," said bureau spokesman Sheng Laiyun. The comments came at a media briefing following the release of data showing the economy grew 7.4 percent in January-March, slightly above expectations for 7.3 percent growth. (Reporting by Xiaoyi Shao, Aileen Wang and Jonathan Standing; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
04/15/2014 10:39 PM

China's growth slows to 24-year low of 7.4 percent
BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth slowed to a 24-year low of 7.4 percent in the first quarter, raising the risk of job losses and a potential impact on its trading partners.
04/15/2014 10:24 PM

Fed should beef up low-rate vows, two officials say

A view shows the Federal Reserve building in WashingtonBy Alicia Underlee Nelson and Richard Valdmanis FARGO, North Dakota/BANGOR, Maine (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve ought not to raise interest rates until the economy is much closer to full strength, two of the Fed's most dovish policymakers said on Tuesday. "If you commit to keeping rates low even as the recovery is proceeding, even as we continue to recover, I think people have a sense, the Fed has the recovery's back," Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota said at North Dakota State University. "And that's the message that I think we need to do a better job of promoting." If households and businesses believe the Fed is close to raising rates, they may decide to save rather than to spend, inhibiting recovery, Kocherlakota said. But because inflation is so low, he said, the Fed can afford to remain accommodative even while the recovery strengthens, and it will likely need to raise rates only gradually when the time comes.

04/15/2014 10:24 PM

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