Asian-Pacific markets declined after an early reading of China's manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index showed that the sector is still contracting. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 1.8%. China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.8%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.3%. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.2%. South Korea's Kospi slid 0.1%. Taiwan's Taiex lost 0.4%. India's Sensex was down 0.5% shortly after midday.

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