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World News | Stock Markets Today: Asian stocks fall as survey shows weak Chinese industrial activity

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Streaks of light seen in California. (Photo credit: Video Grab)

BEIJING, July 5 (AP) – Asian stocks fell on Wednesday after a measure of activity in China’s services sector fell to its lowest level so far this year.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney all retreated. Oil prices were mixed.

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U.S. markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

A service sector index published by China’s leading business magazine Caixin fell sharply in June, a further sign that China’s recovery from the end of virus containment is cooling. Growth in factory activity also slowed.

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“In the absence of policy support, weaker growth expectations could become self-fulfilling,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a note.

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% to 3,225.68, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.4% to 19,147.37.

The Caixin Services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 53.9 out of 100 points from 57.1 in May, with a figure above 50 indicating increased activity.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4% to 33,277.33 points and Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,583.13 points.

Sydney’s S and P-ASX 200 fell 0.3% to 7,254.50, while India’s Sensex opened 0.2% lower at 65,384.86. New Zealand and Jakarta rose, while Singapore and Bangkok fell.

China is the largest trading partner of all Asian neighbors. Import demand got a boost when retail sales and factory activity picked up, but the rebound cooled faster than expected.

Economic activity accelerated to 4.5% in the first three months of 2023 from 3% last year. China’s No. 2 leader, Li Qiang, said last month that economic growth was improving. He gave no details but expressed confidence that China could meet its official growth target of “around 5 percent” this year.

Traders were unnerved by tensions over U.S.-China technology trade after Beijing announced this week that it would curb exports of gallium and germanium, metals used to make semiconductors and solar panels.

This comes ahead of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit this week as part of a U.S. effort to restore strained relations.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.11 to $70.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trades, fell 43 cents to $75.82 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 144.62 yen against the yen from 144.46 yen on Tuesday. The euro was unchanged at $1.0870. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)


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