By  on June 20, 2013

SHANGHAI — China's manufacturing activity fell to a nine-month low in June, putting pressure on Asian stock markets on Thursday.

The country's purchasing managers' index, or PMI, fell to a nine-month low of 48.3 in June, according to preliminary data released by HSBC on Thursday, which comes about a week before Beijing will announce official PMI numbers. Readings below 50 on the 100-point scale indicate economic contraction. In May, HSBC said China's PMI was 49.2. Official figures indicated last month's PMI was 50.8, up from 50.6 in April.

China's manufacturing sector is continuing to suffer from slowing export demand and weak domestic consumption, indicating that second quarter growth in the world's second largest economy could be sharply lower than projected. 

Asian shares are losing ground in afternoon trade.  Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed the day shedding 1.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index is shedding 2.7 percent. Singapore's Straits times Index is currently down about 2 percent.


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