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The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports on Friday:

  • A marginal slowdown in China's growth is to be expected as the post-pandemic recovery approaches the potential of 5.8%, said Sheng Laiyun, a deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics, who commented on Q1 0.6% m/m growth being the second-slowest on record, the Economic Daily reported. China's economy won't be weakening even as GDP growth may slow quarter by quarter, as shown by "relatively strong" indicators including March PMI of 51.9 and April's 51.1, while retail sales and manufacturing investment will improve with the domestic spread of the coronavirus contained and supporting policies take hold, Sheng was reported as saying.
  • Larger banks in China's southern city Shenzhen are likely to raise mortgage rates following moves by China Construction Bank, which raised 15bp for first-time home buyers and 35bp for those buying second or more properties, the 21st Century Business Herald reported. The rate hike by CCB happened on the same day when the Shenzhen government published a report enforcing curbs on property speculation, the newspaper said. Lenders are also reducing mortgage loan sums available while applications are more stringent with longer process periods, it said.
  • The EU should not risk the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China and be "hoodwinked" by the U.S. into joining its campaign containing China, the China Daily said in an editorial. China won't yield if the EU is holding the deal hostage to compel China to lift sanctions on its lawmakers, which were countermeasures to EU sanctions of Chinese individuals for "alleged human rights violations" in Xinjiang, the official English-language newspaper said. The agreement was reached after seven years of negotiation and not a gift to China, the daily said.