China factory growth slows in NovUpdated: 2013-11-21 14:14
Beijing - Activity in China's vast factory sector grew at a milder pace in November as new export orders shrank, a preliminary survey showed on Thursday, bolstering expectations the economy could lose some of its vigor in the fourth quarter as Beijing shifts its focus to structural reform.
The Flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), the earliest indicator of how the Chinese economy is faring each month, fell to 50.4 from October's final reading of 50.9.
But it remained above the 50 line which demarcates expansion from contraction for the fourth consecutive month, indicating the government has achieved the stability it sought to push through reforms.
"I think generally this still reflects a cautiously optimistic view on China's economy. The most important thing is that China will focus on reforms in the coming years," said Hao Zhou, economist at ANZ in Shanghai.
"I think in the short term, from now to next year, economic growth will still see some downside bias, as reforms will likely hurt some industries and sectors," he added.
The data pushed down the Australian dollar by a quarter of a US cent, while China's CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings dropped 1.14 percent in the first 30 minutes after the opening.
China's top leadership unveiled the boldest set of economic and social reforms in nearly three decades following a four-day meeting that ended last week. The reforms are expected to drive new growth in the world's second-largest economy.