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Bleak China GDP rattles global markets

He's the spokesman for China's National Statistics Bureau.

Dry as it sounds, that gives Mao Shengyong the power to rattle global markets:

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINA'S NATIONAL STATISTICS BUREAU'S SPOKESMAN, MAO SHENGYONG, SAYING:

"Looking quarterly, the first quarter growth is 6.4 percent, the second is 6.2 percent and the third is 6.0 percent."

All eyes were on the last of those figures Friday (October 18).

6 percent is China's worst quarterly growth since records began in 1992.

Recent data shows imports and exports both falling.

Most of the blame is put on China's bruising trade war with the U.S.

Now both sides have talked up hopes of a phased agreement.

Discussions this week may be the prelude to a deal in November.

China is also under pressure to provide more stimulus for its economy.

But analysts say scope for that is limited, with the country already weighed down by piles of debt.

The reaction on global markets was swift.

Chinese shares had their worst day in a month, with Shanghai's benchmark index down 1.3 percent at the close.

Benchmark crude prices also fell.

While the bleak GDP numbers were one factor behind a lower open in Europe.