Asian markets lower on China PMI data

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Most Asian markets were trading lower on Monday after data showed that manufacturing growth in the region's leader China slowed in November.

China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) dipped to 50.3 in November from October's 50.8, closer to the 50 point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Analysts had expected a figure of 50.6.

In Greater China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 620 points, or 2.6%, to 23,367.45.

The Shanghai Composite closed down 2.68 points at 2,680.16.

On Monday, the government published draft rules for a bank deposit insurance scheme. The rules were the latest in a series of moves to help liberalise China's banking system and interest rates in order to allow banks to compete on a commercial basis.

Shares in China's Everbright Bank rose as much as 9% before closing up 3.2%.

Rest of Asia

Meanwhile, Japanese shares closed at a seven-year high as the dollar rose against the yen following oil cartel Opec's decision not to cut oil production last week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 ended the day up 130.25 points at 17,590.10, while the dollar was at 118.84 yen, up from 118.65 yen in New York's Friday trade.

A weaker yen is good for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive overseas and increases profits when they are repatriated.

Australian shares saw their biggest fall since 10 October amid a sell-off in mining and energy related shares.

In addition, a private gauge of inflation showed that consumer prices remained subdued in Australia last month as falling oil prices helped to offset a jump in the cost of fruit and vegetables.

The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute's measure of consumer prices was up 0.1% in November, after a 0.2% rise in October.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended 2% lower at 5,207.7, after closing down 1.6% on Friday.

Shares of Woodside Petroleum were down over 4%, reflecting the fall in oil prices.

In South Korea, the Kospi index finished down 0.8% at 1,965.22 after a survey indicated that manufacturing activity in the country shrank for a third consecutive month in November.

The HSBC/Markit purchasing managers' index (PMI) was up to a seasonally adjusted 49 from a four-month low of 48.7 in October.

But, that still came in below the 50-mark which separates expansion from contraction.

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