Asia factory activity shrinks as cooling China threatens global growth

Factory activity shrank across much of Asia in January, falling to the weakest in years in several countries and adding to worries that trade tariffs and cooling demand in China pose an increasing threat to global growth. The weak Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) readings reinforce expectations that central banks in Asia will put any further interest rate hikes on hold this year.

In some countries, such as China, Australia and India, there is even chatter about potential rate cuts. Trade-focused Asia appears to be suffering.

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