A slew of data from China, including retail sales and industrial production, matched analysts' expectations, offering some indication the worst of the mainland's economic slowdown may be over.
"The figures are suggesting that perhaps the economic momentum has bottomed out," Loius Kuijs, a China economist at RBS, said. "But they're still not very strong and they don't suggest any swift recovery in growth. This is especially true with regard to investment, which was actually a little disappointing."
In May, according to government figures, retail sales rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier, matching expectations from a Reuters poll and slightly stronger than April's 10 percent rise despite recent signs of weak domestic demand from worse-than-expected import and inflation figures.
"The bright part of the data continues to be the solid growth of consumption, where the fact that we still have a solid service sector means we still have good employment creation," Kuijs said. "That's cushioning pressure in the industrial sphere."
Government industrial output figures for May also rose 6.1 percent from a year earlier, matching forecasts from a Reuters poll and slightly stronger than the 5.9 percent increase in April. But fixed asset investment for the January-to-May period rose 11.4 percent from the year-earlier period, below the 12.0 percent forecast in a Reuters poll, suggesting the country's economy is continuing to slow.