Most Asian stock market indices declined on Friday (20 January) but the Shanghai Composite was up 0.64% at 3,121.02 as of 5.30am GMT. While investors in China were upbeat amid positive GDP data, elsewhere in Asia, investors were cautious ahead of US President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
On Friday, China's National Bureau of Statistics reported that the Chinese economy had grown 6.8% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2016. This was faster than the 6.7% growth seen in the previous three months and was also better than the growth expected by analysts. This led investors to believe that the world's second largest economy was recovering.
Meanwhile, the focus of majority of the investors was said to be on the inauguration of Trump as the 45<sup>th President of the US, which is scheduled to be held later in Friday (20 January). Investors are said to be keenly awaiting clarity on his future policy measures.
"If Trump emphasizes protectionist trade policies, then that could see some unwinding of the Trump rally. On the other hand, if he focuses on making 'America again' through infrastructure spending then it is likely the market will react positively," economists at National Australia Bank were quoted as saying by CNBC.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.43am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,908.21||Down||0.61%|
On 19 Jan, the FTSE 100 Index closed 0.54% lower at 7,208.44, while the S&P 500 index closed 0.36% lower at 2,263.69.
Among commodities, oil prices gained after the International Energy Agency said crude output was tightening amid producers sticking to their recent output cut promises. As of 12.33am EST, WTI Crude Oil was trading 0.25% higher at $51.50 (£41.70) a barrel, while Brent Crude was trading 0.39% higher at $54.37 a barrel.