Hotel staff in Sanya, in southern China's tropical Hainan province where tourism is key to the island's economy. Photo: AFP / Frederic J. Brown

A Caixin/IHS Markit survey found China’s service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in May. The news comes after China posted the first manufacturing activity contraction since June 2016.

The services activity index was 52.8 in May, versus 51.5 in April, the strongest result since the gauge hit 53.1 in January.

The Manufacturing PMI released on Thursday fell to 49.6, with a number under 50 representing a contraction.