Market Buzz: Investors await news from China

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Russian markets are expected to prove sensitive to China’s worse-than-expected GDP growth of 8.1% in the first quarter, while a bullish trend is likely to continue.

“In general, the situation at the market is rather ambiguous, as positive and negative factors virtually smooth each other,” says Kirill Markin from Investcafe.

Russian stocks traded flat on Thursday amid a turbulent session on the European floors. The MICEX shed 0.28% and the RTS gained 0.28%. Chemical firm Acron (+1.63), car-maker KAMAZ (+1.53%) and miner Raspadskaya (+1.28%) performed well.

U.S. markets climbed on Thursday, supported by materials and energy stocks; while worries about the Eurozone's debt crisis were eased by lower Italian bond yields. The Dow Jones rose 1.4% to its second-best point gain of the year. The S&P 500 advanced 1.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.3%.

European shares closed in the black on Thursday after a choppy session, with mining stocks and banks supporting the indices. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed 1.2% higher; the German DAX 30 added 1.03% and France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.99%.

Asia markets traded in the black on Friday, despite data showing China’s GDP dropped more-than-expected – to 8.1% in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year. China's economic growth cooled due to a decrease in exports and a slowdown in construction. Shanghai Composite climbed 0.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.5%. Japan’s Nikkei Stock gained 1.3% and South Korea’s Kospi grew 0.9%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 put on 0.8%.