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India seen gaining as China avoids a hard landing

Nikhil Lohade in Mumbai | October 23, 2004 10:30 IST

India is poised to gain significantly from the "measured slowdown" in the Chinese economy, according to economists.

On the one hand, the sustained Chinese growth story will keep the commodity and shipping sectors buoyant, while on the other portfolio flows into Asia, specifically China and India, will continue at a faster clip now that the fear of an economic crackdown in China have receded somewhat, they said.

Major Asian markets reacted positively after China released its quarterly GDP numbers, suggesting only a minor slowdown in its economic growth. The enthusiasm was because China had successfully avoided a hard landing of the economy.

The country's third-quarter GDP grew at 9.1 per cent, the third consecutive quarter of slower growth.

Reuters quoted economists as saying a slew of data on Friday showed evidence of a measured slowdown in the world's seventh-largest economy that could reduce the need to raise interest rates.

The global currency and equity analysts said the minor deceleration in quarterly GDP numbers implies that interest rates in the Asian region and elsewhere will not be hiked to compensate for runaway growth in China.

Equity markets in Asia cheered the news since it will mean increased flow of foreign funds into the region, now that a China hard landing is being averted.

Within the matrix of the highly attractive BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) the growth story remain strong and is less vulnerable to shocks, analysts said.

Narayan S A, managing director of Kotak Securities said, "The markets were expecting the Chinese growth story to slow down drastically which would affect commodity demand, but this does not seem to be happening." The Indian market should react positively to this news, he added.

Ambareesh Baliga, vice president at Karvy Stock Broking added, "China is one of the biggest importers of commodities and this will help keep commodity prices buoyant worldwide." He added that India is set to gain in sectors like metal and shipping.

But a senior research analyst from Motilal Oswal Securities said the Chinese growth numbers should not have much of an impact on Indian markets as internal issues like corporate results would play a bigger role."

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