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Asian Markets Rise Despite Weak China Data; U.K., EU Strike Brexit Deal

draft - Asian markets rose in morning trade on Friday, tracking gains in the U.S. and shrug off weaker-than-expected Chinese GDP data.

The U.K. and the European Union reached a long-awaited Brexit deal on Thursday. The British pound hit a five-month high following the news while stocks also gained.

China’s economic growth in the third quarter slowed more than expected to 6.0% from last year, the National Bureau of Statistic reported on Friday. Analysts expected GDP to grow 6.1% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, industrial output gained 5.8% year-on-year in September, compared with a 5.0% growth expected by analysts.

Retail sales rose by 7.8% year-on-year, in line with expectations.

Fixed asset investment grew 5.4% year to date, also matching expectations.

There was little significant market reaction to the slew of data, as they were largely overshadowed by the Brexit news.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.2% and 0.4% respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed.

Beijing said on Thursday that it hoped to agree on a phase on trade deal with the U.S. “as soon as possible,” but warned that Washington must cancel new tariffs for a full trade deal.

“We hope both sides can continue to work together to advance the negotiations and, as soon as possible, reach a phased agreement and make new progress on canceling tariffs,” said China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng.

“Both sides’ ultimate goal for the negotiations is to end the trade war, cancel all additional tariffs,” he said. “This is good for China, good for the U.S. and good for the world.”

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.4%. South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 underperformed its regional peers and lost 0.7%.

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