Concerns about the global economy have increased after a survey of factory output in China that points to a gathering slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
The BBC reports the survey shows slowing manufacturing output for the seventh month in a row.
The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 48.7 from 49.3 in April.
The data comes amid fears that a global economic slowdown may hurt demand for China's exports in key markets such as the US and Europe.
The PMI is a key indicator of manufacturing activity and a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
China's economic growth has been slowing, but there are fears that the slowdown may be faster and bigger than previously expected.
China's government has pledged that it will take fresh measures to boost domestic consumption and investment to ensure that the economy continues to grow at a robust pace.