Hong Kong Stocks Decline After Weak China Data

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks moved lower Monday, heading for a third day of losses, after two separate gauges of China's manufacturing activity showed weakness for January. The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.5%, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises down 1.6%. A final reading of the HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) slightly dropped to 49.7 in January from a preliminary reading of 49.8, while fractionally up from a final reading of 49.6 in December. It was the second month that the index remained below the 50-level separating expansion from contraction. Also weighing on the markets were weaker-than-expected official Chinese PMI released on Sunday and big losses in the U.S. stocks triggered by downbeat U.S. economic growth data at the end of last week. Among big movers, mainland developer China Resources Land Ltd. tumbled 2.6%, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. lost 2.2%, Bank of China Ltd. fell 1.6%, and Sino-British banking giant HSBC Holdings plc headed 1.4% lower. Over on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 2%, looking set to fall for a fifth day in a row.

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