The world's biggest exporter, China, has seen economic growth slow markedly in the second quarter, but markets were relieved that the figures came in no worse than expected.
During the second quarter of this year, Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) grew by just 7.6 percent, compared with the same quarter last year. Markets had already factored in another quarter of tepid growth, instead showing signs of relief that the figures did not come in worse than expected.
"Chinese GDP data came in broadly in-line with official consensus numbers, but well ahead of the feared doomsday whisper numbers that had been circulating of something sub-7 percent," Cameron Peacock at IG Markets in Australia told the AFP news agency.
Still, growth in a country seen as vital for global economic expansion was the slowest since the first quarter of 2009 and the sixth consecutive quarter of slower growth. Many companies are therefore hoping that the Chinese government will take more steps to stimulate the world's second largest economy.
"China has enough room for stimulation now and that is important for equity markets," Achim Matzke, European stock indices analyst at Commerzbank, told the Reuters news agency.
Mining companies, who supply basic materials used in building and are therefore a good indicator for economic expansion, led a bounce on European markets on Friday, reflecting these hopes for stimulation.
Asian markets also rose slightly on Friday.
ng/slk (Reuters, AFP)