Asian shares declined on Monday in late morning trade, dragging the benchmark regional index down to a five-month low, after a Chinese manufacturing gauge dropped.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1% at 11:09 a.m. in Tokyo after last week capping its biggest monthly loss since May. Japan’s Topix index fell 1.5%. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.8%, taking its decline this year to 10%. The kiwi rose 0.4% versus the greenback, while South Korea’s won slipped 1.1% from its last close on 29 January.
Shares fell after China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to a six-month low in January as output and orders slowed. The PMI was at 50.5, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on 1 February in Beijing.
A separate report released today on the non-manufacturing sector also showed a deterioration, with that PMI falling to 53.4 in January from 54.6 in December. That’s the lowest reading since at least April 2011.
Manufacturing data in countries including the US, the euro zone and India are due today, while earnings from Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group Inc. to Korea Air Lines Co. are scheduled.
Markets are closed in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam for holidays.
In corporate news, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. tumbled 10% after the utility forecast a ¥77 billion ($753 million) net loss. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.1% after a two-day closure.
In commodities, oil fell 0.6% in New York and copper slid in London for a ninth day, the longest streak since 1996. Gold lost ground over the past week to stand at $1,243.35 an ounce on Monday.