Asian stocks were mostly lower today (March 5th) as China reduced its GDP growth target at seven per cent for 2015, the lowest target in 11 years. It is down from 7.5 per cent last year, a target that was nearly missed as China's economy expanded 7.4 per cent in 2014, its slowest pace in nearly a quarter century.
Premier Li Keqiang said in a report to China's ceremonial national legislature that the goal was part of overall efforts to create a "moderately prosperous society."
"I think the government doesn't want to come out and say that they are expecting 6 percent growth so they say about seven per cent, but they are clearly playing catch-up," Fraser Howie, managing director at Newedge Singapore, told CNBC. "You will see more stimulus measures of various forms, which can be quite positive for the markets as you see more liquidity in the markets."
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 per cent to 24,309.53 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2 per cent to 3,240.41. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.4 per cent to 5,880.70.
Japan's Nikkei 225 ended 0.3 per cent up to 18761.36. South Korea's Kospi remained flat at 2,000.56.
GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.
No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.