China's economic growth holds steady at 6.8 percent

China will finally open its car market to foreign makers

UPDATE 1-China's Q1 economic growth beats expectations on firm consumption, property sector

"The retail sales data tells you a lot about consumption. We underestimated the power of consumption in China".

Trade frictions with the United States will not change the stable development of China's economy, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday, after reporting robust first-quarter growth. Fears of a China-US trade war have been simmering in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging threats of tit-for-tat levies on hundred of billions of dollars worth of goods.

While acknowledging the potential negative impact of a United States trade war officials on Tuesday warned the country faced greater downside risk at home, citing the need for reforms. China has said it would retaliate.

On a quarterly basis, GDP grew 1.4 percent, slightly less than expected and easing from 1.6 percent in October-December.

The world´s number two economy expanded 6.8 percent in January-March, better than the 6.7 percent tipped in an AFP survey of economists and the same as the previous three months.

US stocks were holding on to modest gains in choppy trading Wednesday afternoon as investors sized up the latest batch of company earnings.

Smokestack industries have been a key focus of that pivot in industrial policy, even though it is weighing on China's overall manufacturing outlook.

Asian shares rose and oil prices touched fresh multi-year highs on Thursday as improving optimism about the global economy helped investors shake off worries about geopolitical risks for the moment.

Last year's growth was unexpectedly strong but activity began to weaken in March.

Although there is a strong start of the year for China, the investment in real estate is expected to slow down as the government aims to curb speculation in the sector.

However, analysts say the battle will take a toll on growth.

Fixed-asset investment has also faltered as Beijing urges local governments to refrain from rampant borrowing to finance glamour projects to beat economic growth targets.

ROUGH QUARTER: Shares in IBM slid 7.4 percent to $149.01 after the technology company said its profit margins decreased and analysts weren't impressed with its first-quarter results.

ON TRACK: CSX rose 7 percent to $60.51 after the railroad operator said its latest quarterly profit nearly doubled as the company slashed costs.

Despite a more upbeat first quarter than expected, analysts still predict China's economic growth will slow to 6.5 percent this year, with the ongoing regulatory crackdown and USA trade dispute seen as key risks, a Reuters poll showed.

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