Hong Kong stocks extended losses in early trade on Thursday, after a preliminary reading of January’s China manufacturing activity from HSBC fell to 49.6, marking the first contraction in six months.

The Hang Seng Index opened flat and then traded lower by 1.2% to 22,818.58 after the data. Chinese banks suffered, as Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. lost 1.4%, Bank of Communications Co. dropped 1.3%, Bank of China Ltd. gave up 1.2%. Trading of shares in Chinese personal-computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. was suspended, with Kim Eng Securities citing chatter of a deal to acquire IBM Corp.’s low-end server business.

Casino stocks also declined broadly after J.P. Morgan warned Macau casino stocks are already fairly valued and downgraded MGM China Holdings Ltd. to neutral. MGM China tumbled 3.9%, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. moved lower by 3.2%, and Wynn Macau Ltd. fell 2.4%. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.2% at 2,050.72.

Source MarketWatch

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