Barring Japan's Nikkei 225, Asian stock markets were trading in the green. China's Shanghai Composite Index was trading higher by 2.60% at 2,989.70. This was despite Beijing reporting its gross domestic product (GDP) number, which indicated China's slowest growth in 25 years.
The number indicated that China's economy grew by 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2015, lower than third quarter's 6.9% growth and 2014's same-period growth of 7.3%. Though this marked the slowest pace of economic expansion since 1990, investor sentiment did not seem to be hurt as the numbers were in line with market expectations.
Other numbers released by Beijing such as factory output and retail sales were, however, below expectations. While the industrial output for December 2015 increased 5.9% on-year, it was lower than Reuters poll forecast of 6% increase. Retail sales for December 2015 too fell slightly short of expectations. It increased 11.1% from a year earlier, compared with a forecast of 11.3%.
In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading at 19,476.53, up 1.24%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was trading higher by 0.91% at 4,903.10; South Korea's KOSPI was at 1,881.21, up 0.15% and India's CNX Nifty was trading higher by 0.88% at 7,415.70.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was different from the pack, trading lower by 0.22% at 16,918.09. Akira Amari, Japan's economics minister, attributed the recent sell-off in the country's equities to external factors such as worries over emerging markets and declining oil prices, reassuring that Japan's economic fundamentals continued to be solid.
Among commodities, oil prices have been in pressure after international sanctions on Iran were lifted recently, which saw its re-entry into the global oil supply market. During Asian trading hours, WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.17% at $29.37 a barrel, while Brent crude was up 1.51% at $28.98 a barrel.