Residential buildings under construction are seen in Jinpu New District in Liaoning province, China. Reuters
China’s new home prices grew at their weakest pace in nearly two years in November while property investment also eased, with tightening policies continuing to cool the market even as some local easing is expected to prevent a sharp slowdown.
Robust earnings from Google-owner Alphabet and Twitter took the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes close to record levels on Friday, with data showing the domestic economy slowed lesser than expected in the second quarter providing support.
General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor announced their quarterly sales in China fell, albeit at a slower pace sequentially, as the US automakers were hit by a slowing economy amid the Sino-US trade war.
New home prices in China grew slightly faster in March after growth slowed the previous month, putting a floor under the cooling market, as Beijing rolled out stimulus to boost the economy. The housing sector’s solid growth could cushion the impact of a vigorous multi-year government crackdown
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 1.0 per cent, in the eurozone, Frankfurt won 0.9 per cent and Paris climbed 0.8 per cent.
Spot gold was up 0.8% at $2,033.86 per ounce by 0655 GMT, after hitting a record high of $2,036.49. US gold futures rose 1.4% to $2,049.30.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.26 per cent, or 58.81 points, to end at 22,514.85, while the broader Topix index inched down 0.04 per cent, or 0.55 points, to 1,554.71.
Brent crude was up by 31 cents, or 0.7%, at $44.74 a barrel by 0713 GMT. The contract rose 0.6% on Wednesday to its highest close since March 6. West Texas Intermediate oil was up by 26 cents, or 0.6%, at $41.96 a barrel. The contract ended Tuesday trading 1.7% higher, its highest close since late July.