Asian stocks started the week on the back foot, as data showing China’s manufacturing sector remaining in a poor state offset positive sentiment from a rebound in global crude oil prices.
The final HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.7, a touch below its 49.8 flash reading, and after dipping to 49.6 in December. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. The data comes a day after the government’s official PMI for January also dipped into contractionary territory for the first time in two and the half years, coming in at 49.8 and surprising market watchers who were expecting expansion.
U.S. stocks declined on Friday, with benchmarks down for a second month, after data showed U.S. economic growth slowed sharply to a less-than-expected 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5 percent, while the S&P 500 declined 1.3 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1 percent.