Asian equities kicked off February on weak footing after data released over the weekend showed Chinese factory growth slumped to a six-month low in January. But trading volumes were light with several Asian markets, including Shanghai and Hong Kong, on holiday for the Lunar New Year.
China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.5 in January from December’s 51, heightening worries of an economic slowdown, data released on Saturday showed.
Meanwhile, losses on Wall Street last week also weighed on sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1 percent on Friday, with U.S. shares recording their worst month in more than a year and first monthly loss since August.