Stock markets hit record highs as Chinese GDP beats forecasts – business live

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Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

China has got the new week off to a good start, by releasing growth figures that beat City expectations.

The Chinese economy grew at an annual pace of 6.9% in the last quarter, according to official government figures, matching China’s growth in January-March.

That beat analyst forecasts of 6.8%, and is ahead of Beijing’s target of growing GDP by 6.5% this year. This should calm concerns that China’s economy is heading for a hard landing, as its leaders try to shift away from manufacturing and towards a service-based economy.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the figures showed China’s economy had become “more stable, co-ordinated and sustainable”.

But the agency also struck a cautious notes, saying that :

The NBS also warned that China’s economy also faces “many unstable and uncertain factors abroad”; perhaps a nod to president Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, or perhaps Britain’s exit from the EU….

Separate government figures also suggested that the Chinese economy seems to be holding up, despite persistent worries over the country’s growing debts.

They showed that:

  • China’s factory output grew 7.6% in June from a year earlier, the fastest pace in three months,
  • Fixed-asset investment expanded by 8.6% percent in the first six months of 2017 both beating forecasts.
  • Retail sales rose 11.0% in June from a year earlier, the fastest pace since December 2015

I’ll pull some reaction together now….

Also coming up today:

The final estimate of inflation across the euro area is released this morning. It’s likely to confirm that the eurozone inflation rate dropped to 1.3% in June, taking some pressure off the European Central Bank to start tapering its stimulus programme.

We also get a new healthcheck on New York’s manufacturing sector.

  • 10am BST: Eurozone Consumer Price Index for June
  • 1.30pm BST: The US Empire Manufacturing (JUL)