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Chinese stock market sustains heavy losses after contraction in the manufacturing sector

Fonte/Source, MarketWatch, Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks extended losses on Monday, after two separate gauges of China’s factory activity suggested the manufacturing sector is in contraction.

Meanwhile, Japanese stocks retreated, dragged by weakness in Chinese and U.S. economic data.

The Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.09%  inched down 0.1%, marking a three-day losing streak. The Hang Seng China Enterprises HSCEI, -1.21% which tracks the Hong Kong-listed mainland Chinese companies, declined 1.2%.

Over on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -2.56% fell 2.6%, down for a fifth session in a row.

On Monday, the final HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) came in at 49.7 in January, slightly down from a preliminary reading of 49.8, while marginally up from 49.6 in December. It was the second month that the index remained below the 50 level, which separates expansion from contraction.

A day earlier, China’s official manufacturing PMI fell to a weaker-than-expected 49.8 in January, recording its first contraction in more than two years.

That Chinese data affected Japanese markets, too. The Nikkei Average NIK, -0.66% retreated 0.7%, with the broader Topix I0000, -0.45%  down 0.5%. Also weighing on the markets were big losses in U.S. stocks, declines that followed downbeat U.S. gross domestic product figures at the end of last week.

The yen USDJPY, +0.20%  headed lower versus the greenback, trading at ¥117.57, compared with ¥117.41 late Friday in New York.

However, Australian and South Korean stocks shares closed higher, as the S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.66%  rose 0.7%, and the Kospi Composite Index SEU, +0.18%  edged up 0.2%.

Fonte/Source, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinese-stocks-continue-to-fall-after-weak-pmi-data-2015-02-02?mod=MethodeStories&link=sfmw

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