China delivered a strong set of trade data on Friday, helping to temper losses in Asian stock markets spooked by escalating Middle East tensions. The country’s exports jumped 14.5 percent in July from the year-ago period, official data showed, much better than a Reuters forecast for a 7.5 percent increase and after climbing 7.2 percent in June.
Imports fell an annual 1.6 percent, compared with expectations of a 3 percent rise and following the 5.5 percent gain in June. This pushed trade surplus to a record high of $47.3 billion in July, blowing past the $27 billion target and up from $31.5 billion in June.
The Australian dollar pared losses after hitting a two-month low earlier in the session on news that U.S. has authorized air strikes in Iraq. Shanghai stocks rose 0.1 percent after trading in negative territory for most of the session.