World Bulletin / News Desk
China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, government data showed Monday, beating expectations in the latest sign of stabilisation for the world's second-largest economy.
The economy grew at just 6.7 percent in 2016, its slowest rate in a quarter of a century.
"For the first time in the recent years, China starts a year with a strong headline GDP," Raymond Yeung of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group told Bloomberg News.
"Thanks to strong investment and property, the economy is performing well."
The reading Monday marked the second quarterly improvement since the final three months of 2014.
It was better than the median analyst expectation of 6.8 percent in a poll, and also up on the fourth quarter figure.
"The national economy in the first quarter has maintained the momentum of steady and sound development," the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
It added that "positive changes kept emerging and major indicators performed better than expected".
Monday's data also showed China's industrial output growth rose to 7.6 percent year-on-year in March, beating a Bloomberg estimate of 6.3.
Retail spending rebounded to a forecast-beating 10.9 percent, while fixed-asset investment rose 9.2 percent in the first three months of the year, representing a slight acceleration from February.
The readings follow data showing robust foreign trade and a further expansion in factory activity driven by a pickup in production and demand last month.
The euro reached $1.1388 Wednesday, the highest level since a year earlier.
The IMF warned that "significant policy uncertainties imply larger-than-usual" risks to the US outlook on either side, since spending cuts could lower growth, while tax cuts could provide stimulus and expand the economy.
Now the VNO-NCW is calling for the Dutch parliament to reverse a 2015 decision to introduce a cap of 20 percent of annual pay on the bonuses which can be paid out to top managers in the banking industry.
The state-owned energy trading firm Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas said it signed the deal with the Texas company Cheniere Energy.
Adding to the upward pressure for oil is the crisis in the Middle East, where a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar has fuelled concerns of possible conflict.
Bourses in both Paris and Frankfurt dipped after a report from data monitoring company IHS Markit showed Eurozone private sector business activity slowed sharply in June while staying in expansion mode.
Analysts said that while the downturn in the headline readings was disappointing, the economy continued to put in a strong performance.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.