Asian stocks fell on the first day of February after a slowdown in China's manufacturing growth added to worries about the global economic recovery. China's manufacturing PMI fell to 50.5 in January, the lowest in six months as output and orders slowed, while the non-manufacturing PMI dropped to 53.4 in January. However, trading volumes were light on Monday with markets in China , Hong Kong , Malaysia , Taiwan and Vietnam being closed for the Chinese Lunar New Year . - The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1% to 133.30 at 15:11 in Tokyo In Japan the benchmark index extended Friday`s losses to close at its lowest level in nearly three months due to a stronger yen which pushed exporters lower. - Nikkei 225 closed 1.98% lower at 14619.13 - Topix closed 1.99% lower at 1196.32 In Australia , the benchmark index was driven lower not only by China's downbeat numbers but also due to a mixed bag of economic data and the rising caution ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia`s policy meeting on Tuesday. - The S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.04% lower at 5187.91 - New Zealand's NZX 50 closed 0.51% lower at 4849.50 In South Korea stocks tried to catch-up with the region after being shut on Thursday and Friday, which pushed Kospi near five-month lows despite upbeat factory data. - Kospi closed 1.09% lower at 1919.96
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