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Asian shares down on China services data

Asian shares down on China services data

Asian shares declined on Monday in midsession led by energy and telecommunication services after a gauge of China’s services industries dropped, signalling growth may be sluggish in the world second-biggest economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.8% to 139 as of 12:25 pm in Tokyo.  Japan’s Topix index fell 1% as the nation’s markets reopened after holidays. The Nikkei 225 dropped 2.2% after climbing on 30 December to its highest close since November 2007.  

South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.5%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.6% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.1% and Taiwan’s Taiex index declined 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.8%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 2%.

Shares declined after a private index of China’s services industry released today by HSBC and Markit Economics declined to 50.9 last month from 52.5 in November.

In corporate news, SoftBank Corp., a Japanese mobile phone operator, fell 2.7% after the rating of Sprint Corp., which SoftBank acquired last year, was slashed at Cowen and Company.

Fast Retailing Co., Asia’s biggest apparel chain, lost 4% in Tokyo as the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped from a six-year high.

China Railway Group Ltd. slumped 6.4% in Hong Kong after the company said its president died in an accident.

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