A flash estimate of China's Markit Economics/HSBC Purchasing Managers Index for February came in at 48.3, a seven-month low that follows January's 49.5 level.
The index indicates growth with figures above 50. Below 50 indicates a contraction.
On the flip side, crude oil continues to find support from a high demand prompted by a colder-than-average winter and from a weak U.S. dollar.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil shed 50 cents to $102.92 per barrel. Natural gas, lost 11 cents to $6.01 per million British thermal units.
Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices added 2.24 cents to $2.8433 per gallon.
Heating oil prices added 2.43 cents to $3.178 per gallon.
At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded rose from Tuesday's $3.366 per gallon to $3.375, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]