Asian stocks flat after China data

<p>The country grew at its weakest pace in September, but fared better than expected.</p>

Asian shares ended little changed today (October 19th) – after a choppy session – following the release of fresh Chinese economic data which reassured investors that the government stimulus was having a positive impact.

While the country grew at its weakest pace in September (6.9 per cent) since the global financial crisis, it remained above market expectations. A growth of 6.8 per cent had been forecast by analysts.

"The GDP data is better than anticipated. It could mean that previously-announced stimulus, such as infrastructure investments, is beginning to work," Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities, told Reuters. "The market is turning optimistic, against a backdrop of ample liquidity."

In addition, sentiment was boosted by ongoing speculation that the US Federal Reserve would hold off rising interest rates until next year.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.9 per cent to 18,131.23 and China's Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.1 per cent to 3,386.70. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.04 per cent at 23,075.61 and South Korea's Kopsi was flat at 2,030.27. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.03 per cent to 5,269.70.

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