China is expected to report its weakest quarterly economic growth in nearly seven years on Tuesday, adding pressure on policymakers to take bolder steps to ward off fears of a sharper slowdown that are jolting global financial markets.

Chinese leaders have been struggling to put a floor under the economy, even as a fresh plunge in its stock markets and yuan currency CNY=CFXS have stoked worries from Washington to Wellington that conditions may be rapidly deteriorating.

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to slow to 6.8 percent from a year earlier, down from 6.9 percent in the third quarter and the weakest since early 2009, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

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