CHINA’S manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in seven months in May, causing stock markets to fall sharply in Asia.
The HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.6 in May. A figure of 50 or above signifies growth.
The slowdown has raised questions over whether China needs to reassess its economic policy.
The Nikkei was down 7.3 per cent this morning and the Hang Seng fell 2.5 per cent.