Asian stock markets turned higher early Tuesday, as China’s fourth quarter gross domestic product beat expectations to come in at 7.3 percent from the year-ago period, beating the 7.2 percent forecast by analysts and holding steady from the prior quarter.
A continued slide in oil prices could also dent sentiment. Brent crude oil prices fell below $50 a barrel on Monday after Iraq announced record oil production and the global economic outlook darkened. U.S. crude was trading down 74 cents at $47.95 a barrel.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index widened gains to nearly 2 percent following a better-than-expected growth reportcard. In the previous session, the index slumped 7.7 percent – its biggest daily percentage drop in over six years on the back of declines in property developers. A crackdown on margin lending also led to losses in the financial sector.
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