Asian shares were mixed, while European stocks hit a five-week high Monday, as global investors weighed the potential impact of slowing growth in China. The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the July-September quarter -- narrowly ahead of analysts’ forecasts of 6.7 percent.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent, before paring its losses and trading down 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng traded mostly down during the day, before closing flat. Stocks were shielded from further falls by hopes that the government would step in with more stimulus measures to kickstart slowing growth.
“At this point in time, news that is not exceptionally bad or deteriorating is probably perceived as good,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, told Reuters. “Markets are in a more optimistic mood as more stimulus out of China is expected.”
The region’s largest market, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, finished the day down 0.6 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index was flat. In India, the S&P BSE Sensex ended the day up 0.55 percent and the larger CNX Nifty was up 0.4 percent.
Further incremental stimulus measures would be needed in Beijing to ensure growth does not deviate too much from its official target of 7 percent in the subsequent quarters. The third-quarter growth of 6.9 percent, for instance, was the country’s slowest pace of growth since the peak of the global financial crisis in 2009.
In Australia, which counts China as its biggest export market, mining stocks were pulled down by slowing Chinese growth -- dragging down the benchmark S&P ASX 200 index from the day's highs to end the day flat.
However, in Europe, investors were encouraged by positive earnings reports and a gain in the shares of Deutsche Bank AG, which rose 3.3 percent after news that the German lender will split its investment bank into two separate units, and remove three of its eight top executives as part of a broad overhaul aimed at tackling shrinking profits.
The pan-European STOXX 600 rose sharply at the open, before paring its gains and trading up 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX index was up 0.8 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.34 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open early Monday, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the third straight week of gains Friday.