Sydney — Asian share markets swung higher on Wednesday as a raft of Chinese data easily beat expectations in a sign Beijing’s policy stimulus may finally be gaining traction in the world’s second-largest economy. Investors were hoping for better news from China and were not disappointed with first-quarter economic growth pipping forecasts at 6.4%. More importantly industrial output surged 8.5% in March from a year earlier, blowing away forecasts of a 5.9% increase. Retail sales also pleased with a rise of 8.7%. Investors reacted immediately by buying the Australian dollar, often a liquid proxy for China plays, which pushed up 0.3% to a two-month top at $0.7206. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.5% to reach its highest in almost five months, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2% to near its highest since July. “This suggests that policy measures introduced by Chinese officials last year are now bearing fruit,” said...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now