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China's manufacturing activity continues to contract in September

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SHANGHAI, Sept 22 (Xinhua) -- China's manufacturing activity continued to contract for the third consecutive month in September, according to a preliminary reading of the HSBC purchasing managers' index (PMI) released on Thursday.

The HSBC preliminary PMI for China's manufacturing sector fell to a two-month low of 49.4 in September from August's final reading of 49.9.

A reading above 50 indicates an expansion of the manufacturing sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction.

The PMI of China's manufacturing has remained below the boom-or-bust line since July when the index dropped to a 28-month low of 49.3, marking the first contraction this year.

HSBC said the contraction was at a fractional rate, suggesting the chances of a hard landing was remote.

"This is a similar moderating growth picture as in the previous two months. Fears of a hard landing are unwarranted," said Qu Hongbin, the chief China economist at HSBC.

Qu said resilient domestic demand is sufficient to support around 8.5 percent to 9 percent growth in the coming quarters, with the country becoming less dependent on exports.

New export orders contracted at a faster pace in September than August, the statement said, amid deepening economic woes in the United States and Europe, which are major importers of Chinese exporting products.

The September preliminary reading is yet to be finalized on Sept. 30.

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