Asian markets mixed in Friday trade

Hong Kong stock exchange Image copyright AFP

Asian markets are mixed in Friday's session, with a lot of focus on data from China.

The Chinese economy expanded by 6.7% in the first three months of the year, the slowest quarterly growth in seven years.

Chinese markets edged lower, with the Shanghai composite down by 0.26% to 3,074.26.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index was also lower by 0.16% at midday to 21,304.21.

In South Korea the Kospi index there was down 0.1% at midday to 2,014.55.

Over in Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.34% - or 56.68 points - to 16,854.37 at the lunch break. Investors stayed at the sidelines, waiting for full assessment and impact of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in southern Japan.

Australia was the only market in the plus column on Friday. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 was up 0.4% at midday, to 5,144.1.

US stocks had closed mostly unchanged on Thursday.

US banks reported lower profits, but beat analysts earnings estimates. Bank of America and Wells Fargo both reported a fall in first-quarter profit after they put aside more cash to cover bad loans to energy firms.

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