Small cap plunge drags China stocks lower despite strong GDP growth

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The data helped push regional stocks, in the form of the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, past a two-year high in overnight trading while the yuan gained for a sixth consecutive session against the US dollar after the People's Bank of China raised the midpoint of the currency to 6.7562, its highest level in more than 8 months.

China " s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown about 6.9 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year, about 38.15 trillion yuan ($5.62 trillion USD), the National Bureau of Statistics reported today.

Robust overseas shipments-reflecting renewed strength in the global economy-and solid consumption at home helped offset a slowdown in investment.

On Monday the country announced that its economy had expanded 6.9 percent in the second quarter, unchanged from the year-on-year growth rate in the first quarter.

Following the strong start to this year in Q1, many analysts had predicted China's growth would slow markedly, as the government tightened monetary policy and the property market lost momentum. Sales grew 11 percent YoY in June 2017 alone.

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Analysts said that is likely to lead to creation of new regulatory structures, though a report issued following the meeting called for "appropriate sequencing", suggesting Beijing might move more slowly than some reform advocates want.

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Growth in both exports and imports was also higher than expected.

Part of China's economic health in the second quarter reflected robust exports, with demand beginning to recover in Europe and particularly the USA after a long period of depressed growth. The figure beat analyst expectations, and sets China on the path to post its first year-on-year acceleration of growth since 2010.

Value-added industrial output in June rose by 7.6%.

While the government has yet to release details on how the new committee will operate, the general market chatter is that it could be a potential predecessor to a "super-regulator", one body that unites China's three main financial regulators - securities, banking and insurance.

Investors also attribute stocks' diverging fortunes to policy messages from the fifth National Financial Work Conference held over the weekend, in which President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen the Communist Party's leadership in the financial sector.

But markets are now pricing in expectations of slower growth in H2 2017, with FY2017 estimates of 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent increasingly common.

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