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Final results from a monthly gauge of China's manufacturing activity, released Monday by HSBC, showed a drop to 48.5 in February from January's final reading of 49.5. The reading was revised slightly up from a previous "flash" version print of 48.3, where a reading below 50 signals contraction of activity in the sector. The subindex for output and new orders both contracted for the first time since July 2013, HSBC said. The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) followed an official version released Saturday, which fell to 50.2 in February from 50.5 in January. However, the stock markets showed improvement after results, as the Shanghai Composite Index swung to a gain of 0.3%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index trimmed its opening loss of 0.9%, to trade down 0.7%.