Asian markets advanced toward a recent 2-1/2-year peak on Monday powered by hopes of a U.S. fiscal package and expectations of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year, though gains were held back by weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 0.5% for its second straight day of gains, paring back slightly following third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data from China.
Chinese shares started higher but slipped into negative territory in afternoon trading after China’s third-quarter GDP data rose 4.9%, missing expectations for a 5.2% growth.
In a positive sign, however, separate monthly indicators pointed to an expansion in economic activity.
Industrial output accelerated 6.9% in September from a year earlier, when analysts were looking for a 5.8% gain from a 5.6% rise in August.
Retail sales edged up 3.3% last month from a year earlier against expectations for 1.8% growth. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 1.1% while Australia’s benchmark index added 0.9%.