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China's Dec service sector PMI drops sharply

Mainland and regional stock markets respond negatively to news

GROWTH in China's service sector dropped sharply, a private survey showed yesterday, further weighing on stocks in the mainland and across the region as mounting evidence point to a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

The HSBC/Markit services sector Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 50.9 in December from 52.5 in the previous month, with new business expansion the slowest in six months.

The survey mirrors the official services PMI published by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday...

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