Australia shares post biggest one-day drop in 3 weeks, China PMI weighs

Mon Jan 6, 2014 12:18am EST

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY Jan 6 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.5 percent on Monday as a dip in commodity prices dragged on resource stocks and as growth in China's services sector slowed sharply, raising concerns about the pace of recovery in Australia's largest export market.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 25.2 points, its biggest one day drop in three weeks, to 5,324.9. The benchmark added 0.5 percent last week for its third week of gains.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,765.3.

The China HSBC/Markit services sector Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dropped to 50.9 in December from 52.5 in November, with business expansion the slowest in six months. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Kim Coghill)