China growth matches forecast


Economy expands 6.4% in Q4

The much-awaited China GDP numbers for the fourth quarter failed to spark too much excitement as both the quarterly and annual growth came in as expected. The economy grew 1.5% q/q and 6.4% y/y. The annual growth was slower than Q3’s 6.5%, and was the slowest since the global financial crisis. For the full year, the economy expanded 6.6%, the slowest expansion in 28 years, but above the official GDP target of about 6.5%.

In comments accompanying the release of the data, China’s National Bureau of Statistics highlighted that China had contributed almost 30% to global growth in 2018, despite complicated international and economic conditions. It also said the US-China trade war had impacted the Chinese economy, but it was manageable. Officials remain confident of achieving “reasonable growth” in 2019.


Other data better than expected

Overshadowed by the GDP numbers, China also released retail sales and industrial production data for December. Retail sales matched estimates with an 8.2% gain while industrial production was better, rising 5.7% y/y, accelerating from November’s +5.4% rather than the slowdown to +5.3% that had been expected by economists.


Aussie pops higher

The Australian dollar has a quick, kneejerk reaction after the data, with AUD/USD reaching 0.7184, though the pair failed to test the convergence of the 100-and 200-hour moving averages at 0.7186. The FX pair has since settled back to being almost flat on the day around 0.7169.


AUD/USD Hourly Chart

Source: OANDA fxTrade


Equity markets had been trading negative from the start of trading today, reflecting the lack of progress in solving the US government shutdown after Trump’s proposal was rejected by both parties. The China data helped stabilize prices and pulled most indices off their intra-day lows. The Japan225 index was the worst performer, dropping 0.97%, while the China50 index outperformed, gaining 0.06%.


Asia Open: What to watch this week


US holiday may slow activity

Now that the China data is out of the way, it’s a bit of a slow day on the data front. The US has a bank holiday for Martin Luther King’s birthday and there are only German producer prices for December scheduled. These are seen falling 0.1% m/m, the first decline in five months, which may easing any pressure there might have been on the ECB to think about hiking rates earlier.

You can view the full MarketPulse data calendar at


OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam reviews the week’s business and market news with Jazz FM Business Breakfast presenters Nick Howard and Jonny Hart



This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson

Senior Market Analyst at MarketPulse
A seasoned professional with more than 30 years’ experience in foreign exchange, interest rates and commodities, Andrew Robinson is a senior market analyst with OANDA, responsible for providing timely and relevant market commentary and live market analysis throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously worked in Europe, since moving to Singapore he worked with several leading institutions including Bloomberg, Saxo Capital Markets and Informa Global Markets, proving FX strategies based on a combination of technical and fundamental analysis as well as market flow information. Andrew began his career as an FX dealer with NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland in the UK.
Andrew Robinson

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