China steel output hits record high

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China reported weaker-than-expected activity data for May, adding to views the economy is finally starting to slow under the weight of a prolonged crackdown on riskier lending that is pushing up borrowing costs for companies and consumers.

World economic recovery creates favorable conditions for China's trade. Sales measured by floor area grew 2.9 % in January-May from the same period a year earlier, up from 1.3 % in the first four months of the year.

Industrial production in China was up 6.8 percent on year in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

China's retail sales, investment growth and industrial output monthly figures came in below market forecasts in May, but were still solid. Year-to-date output rose 5.4 percent to 369.86 million tonnes.

Investment in the private sector - accounting for around 60% of total investment - grew at an annual pace of 8.1% in the first five months of the year, down from 8.4% between January to April.

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China's home prices rose by the most in 19 months in May even as the government pressed ahead with a two-year campaign to curb property speculation.

The data add to signs of strength after home sales by value bounced back last month, in a what is traditionally a slow season, separate data released Thursday showed. China produced 81.13 million tons of crude steel last month, up 5.8 percent from the previous month and 8.9 percent from the same month in 2017.

China's economy will likely expand by around 6.7 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the State Information Center (SIC), an official think tank, said recently.

Fixed asset investment gained 6.1% on year in May, missing forecasts for 7.0%, which would have been unchanged from the April reading.

Later today, the United States government will finalise a list of up to $US50 billion in Chinese imports that will be subject to 25% tariffs.

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