China's factory activity is in contraction, based on a private survey, reinforcing calls for more stimulus.
The HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing manager's index's initial reading fell to 49.5 in December from November's final reading of 50.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below 50 points to contraction on a monthly basis.
China will release its official PMI reading for December in the new year.
The state's official PMI came in at 50.3 for November.
This morning's latest reading from HSBC marks a seven-month low.
Read more: "Domestic demand slowed considerably and fell below 50 for the first time since April 2014. Price indices also fell sharply. The manufacturing slowdown continues in December and points to a weak ending for 2014."