A combined measure of China's manufacturing and service sector activity revealed a September retreat from an already modest rate of expansion. The HSBC China Composite Purchasing Managers Index fell to 51.2 last month from 51.8 in August. "Combined with the gradual improvement of the manufacturing PMI, the Chinese economy is still on the way to a modest recovery. But a more consolidated and sustainable recovery requires structural reforms," said HSBC economist Qu Hongbin.

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