Shanghai stocks up on stimulus hope

<p>New data showed that China’s economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009.</p>

Stock markets in China ended the week on a high as investors hope that the world's second largest economy will unveil further monetary policy easing measures to boost the sluggish growth.

New data showed that China's economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009 during the first quarter, which renewed speculation that the country would introduce further stimulus measures.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 2.2 per cent to 4288.35, its highest level since March 2008.

"Certainly, many are questioning how much further markets can go without economics. In the short-term, however, I am not sure economics matter too much given we should see further easing measures from the People's Bank of China (PBoC)," Chris Weston, IG's chief market strategist, told CNBC.

Meanwhile, other Asian markets worried that Greece could struggle to make a payment due next month to the IMF if it fails to reach a deal in negotiations with European creditors.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.3 per cent to 27653.12, South Korea's Kospi inched up 0.1 per cent to 2143.50. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 per cent to 19652.88 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 was down 1.1 per cent to 5877.87.

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