The Chinese yuan drifted higher against the U.S. dollar in Asian deals on Friday, as a slew of positive Chinese economic data buoyed sentiment.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that gross domestic product grew 6.0 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, the same rate as seen in the third quarter and in line with expectations

Industrial output accelerated unexpectedly to 6.9 percent in December from 6.2 percent in November. The rate was expected to ease to 5.9 percent.

Retail sales expanded 8 percent annually, as seen in November, and slightly faster than the expected rate of 7.9 percent.

The yuan climbed to a 3-day high of 6.8661 against the greenback from Thursday's closing value of 6.8768. The yuan is seen finding resistance around the 6.7 mark.

The People's Bank of China set today's central parity rate of the yuan at 6.8878 per dollar, compared to Thursday's rate of 6.8807. The Chinese central bank sets central parity rate every morning and allows the yuan to fluctuate up to 2 percent from that level.

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