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ASIAN markets largely fell on Tuesday after China set a five per cent annual growth target and Wall Street shares dropped ahead of the release of key US economic indicators.

Tokyo and Hong Kong dipped at the open, a day after Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index hit a record high, closing above 40,000 points for the first time.

Wall Street retreated on Monday as investors locked in profits after recent rallies fuelled by tech optimism.

In China on Tuesday, leaders set a 2024 growth target of five per cent, in line with last year’s GDP gains but well off the double-digit expansion that for years drove the world’s second-largest economy.

At the National People’s Congress, an annual rubber-stamp legislative session, the focus this week will be on China’s struggling economy, which is beset by a prolonged property sector crisis, record youth unemployment, and a global slowdown that is hammering demand for Chinese exports.

“Beijing is setting a status quo GDP target in a down market to project confidence and slow the downward economic spiral,” Drew Thompson, a former Pentagon official and senior fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, told Bloomberg.

Source: CNN

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