Asia stocks slip as China manufacturing shrinks

May 4, 2014 - 11:05 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stock markets slipped Monday after a survey showed that Chinese manufacturing shrank in April for the fourth month in a row.

Investors didn't like the results of the HSBC purchasing managers' index on factory activity in the world's second biggest economy, which came in lower than a preliminary reading.

Pessimism about China's manufacturing also offset some positive news on U.S. employment that showed employers in the No. 1 economy added more jobs than expected in April, pushing the unemployment rate to its lowest in six years.

Trading was thinned out as markets in Japan and South Korea were closed for holidays.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.5 percent to 21,922.56 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China lost 0.6 percent to 2,014.63. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1 percent to 5,452.90..

Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand also fell.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Dow lost 0.3 percent to close at 16,512.89 and the Standard & Poor's 50 fell 0.1 percent to 1,881.14. The Nasdaq dropped 0.1 percent to 4,123.90.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 101.89 Japanese yen from 102.20 in late trading Friday. The euro rose to $1.3875 from $1.3871.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. oil for June delivery edged up 5 cents to $99.81 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 34 cents to settle at $99.76 on Friday.