Caixin Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) report showed that the Chinese services sector activity expanded at a slower pace last month, surprising markets to the downside. The Caixin China General Services PMI Index printed a reading of 51.2, down from January’s six-month high of 52.4 and pointed to a rate of growth that was much slower than 52.6 expected. Manufacturing companies meanwhile saw a further contraction of output in February, with the rate of reduction quickening to the steepest since September 2015. The sharp deterioration in the services sector activity can be attributed to the slowing new business growth as well as to the quicker pace of decline in the new orders at manufacturing companies. However, the major area of concern was that ‘the Job shedding intensified across the manufacturing sector in February, with the latest decline in workforce numbers the sharpest since January 2009. As a result, composite employment fell at a rate that, though modest, was the quickest in six months,’ Caixin noted. For more information, read our latest forex news.