The HSBC purchasing managers index for services in China plunged to 51.1 last month from 54.3 in March, adding to evidence that the country's first-quarter slowdown is extending into the second quarter. "The cooling of service sector activity in April likely reflected the knock-on effect of slower manufacturing growth, the impact of property tightening measures and the spreading bird flu," said HSBC's chief economist for China, Qu Hongbin.

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