A gauge of China's manufacturing activity fell to a six-month low in November in a new sign an economic slowdown is deepening.

HSBC Corp. said Monday its monthly purchasing managers' index fell to 50.0 from the previous month's 50.4. The index uses a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 show activity contracting. November's reading meant activity was unchanged from the previous month.

China's economic growth slipped to a five-year low of 7.3 percent in the quarter ending in September. Chinese leaders have cut interest rates in an apparent attempt to prevent growth from declining further.

HSBC economist Hongbin Qu said in a report, "We continue to expect further monetary and fiscal easing measures to offset downside risks to growth."