By Daniel Hunter

China's trade figures for December beat analysts expectations with a strong rise in exports and fall in imports.

State news agency Xinhua said exports were up 9.7% versus expectations of 6.8%. Imports were down 2.3%, but not as much as predicted (7%).

December's figures mean that exports grew by 6.1% in the whole of 2014 and imports grew slightly at 0.4%.

Xinhua said the fall in imports reflected the ongoing impact of decreasing oil prices.

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