Asian Equities Open Mixed Before Raft of China Data

Asian stock markets opened mixed early Tuesday, as investors awaited a raft of data from China for further trading cues.  The Asian economic giant is due to release retail sales, fixed asset investment and industrial output for December, but focus will likely fall on fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) due at 1000 SIN/HK.

Economic growth is likely to have slowed to 7.2 percent in the October-December quarter from the year-ago period, according to a Reuters poll, which would be the slowest reading since the first quarter of 2009 when the growth rate slumped to 6.6 percent amid the depths of the global financial crisis. Growth in the third quarter of 2014 came in at an annual 7.3 percent.

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.


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