Asian Equities Lower after China PMI

Asian stocks traded lower across the board early Monday, as investors were disheartened by less-than-stellar data from China and earnings results in Sydney.

The HSBC final purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed China’s vast factory sector stalling in contraction for April, with a reading of 48.9, marking its fastest drop in a year. China’s official PMI for April topped expectations, coming in at 50.1 last Friday, while HSBC’s preliminary reading, released April 22, fell to 49.2. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.  Meanwhile, trading may be light with markets in Japan, Malaysia and Thailand closed for public holidays.

On Friday, Wall Street recovered from a previous selloff to bounce back sharply. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led gains with a 1.3 percent rally, as investors snapped up beaten-down shares in the tech sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 finished 1 percent higher, respectively.