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Asia shares pare gains after China manufacturing slows for fifth straight month

Published on Mar 24, 2014 10:55 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares gave up earlier gains on Monday after the China HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low in March.

The preliminary reading of 48.1 fell from February's final reading of 48.5. The "flash" March index also showed new orders slid for a fourth consecutive month to 46.9 - its lowest point since July 2013 - while output fell to 47.3, the lowest since September 2012.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 per cent after the China data's release after gaining as much as 0.5 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei share average bucked the trend and gained 1.3 per cent.

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