BEIJING Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted more than expected in January, missing market expectations and weaker than the previous month, an official survey showed on Monday.
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 49.4 in January, compared to the previous month's reading of 49.7 and below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Analysts polled by Reuters predicted a reading of 49.6, suggesting the sixth consecutive month of contraction.
China's economic growth cooled to 6.9 percent in 2015, the slowest pace in 25 years, adding pressure to policymakers who are already struggling to restore the confidence of investors after a renewed plunge in stock markets and the yuan currency.
(Editing by Kim Coghill)