Chinese manufacturing activity contracted in May after nearly stalling in April, data from the country's National Bureau of Statistics showed.
The headline manufacturing purchasing managers' index stood at 49.4 in May, down from 50.1 in April. The reading came in lower than the Econoday consensus estimate of 50, which would have meant neither expansion nor contraction.
Larger enterprises saw a slower expansion, while the activity of small and medium-sized enterprises declined, according to NBS data. The production index ticked down to 51.7 from 52.1 in April, while new orders declined, with the associated sub-index dropping 1.6 points to 49.8.
"We believe that the contraction in new orders means domestic manufacturing activity has been affected by both the trade war and the technology war [with the U.S.]," wrote Iris Pang, economist for Greater China at ING, in a note.
The non-manufacturing PMI for May remained unchanged at 54.3, indicating steady development in the sector.