Asia shares slip after China growth data

[Hong Kong] Asian markets mostly sank on Tuesday, giving up much of their gains from the previous session, as data showing China's economy growing at its slowest pace in five years trumped another positive lead from Wall Street.

After the wild swings of last week that were fuelled by global growth fears, Monday's hefty advances across the region raised hopes shares were on a more even keel as the earnings season approaches.

However the data out of China confirmed the world's number two economy is struggling to pick up the pace, despite government measures to boost growth.

In afternoon trade Tokyo fell 2.00 per cent after surging almost four percent on Monday, while Seoul shed 0.85 per cent, Hong Kong gave up 0.23 per cent and Shanghai lost 0.27 per cent.

Sydney, however, ended 0.11 per cent higher, adding 5.6 points to 5,325.0.

Stocks surged on Monday in response to Friday's Wall Street advance that was propelled by bargain hunting and upbeat US corporate results.

However, another day of gains in New York was unable to give the same lift to Asia on Tuesday. The Dow rose 0.12 per cent, the S&P 500 added 0.91 per cent and the Nasdaq jumped 1.35 per cent.

In Beijing, the National Bureau of Statistics said the economy grew 7.3 per cent year-on-year in July-September, lower than the 7.5 per cent expansion in the previous three months and the slowest since the 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

But it exceeded the median forecast of 7.2 per cent in an AFP survey of 17 economists, and some analysts said upbeat industrial production figures suggested the slowdown may have bottomed out.

China is a crucial driver of growth around the world and any weakness fuels concerns about its knock-on effect for other countries, from the United States to the eurozone to Australia.

While investors initially took the numbers in their stride, with Hong Kong and Shanghai edging up, shares headed south in the afternoon.

On currency markets the dollar fell to 106.34 yen from 106.92 yen in New York and well below the 107.10 yen earlier Monday in Asia.

The euro bought US$1.2820 and 136.33 yen against US$1.2800 and 136.86 yen.

Oil prices were mixed. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 51 US cents to US$82.20 a barrel and Brent crude for December added US$1.14 to sit at US$85.54.

Gold was at US$1,248.21 an ounce against US$1,244.57 late Monday. AFP

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