|China's building materials output drops
Output of China's building materials sector fell in the first eight months of 2015 as the property market remained weak, the country's top economic planner said in a statement on its website.
From January to August, cement output was down 5 percent year on year to around 15.05 billion tonnes, while flat glass production fell 8 percent, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
In August alone, cement output saw a 4.2 year on year drop, while flat glass was down 12.1 percent, widening from the 3.8 percent decline registered in July.
Prices of cement and flat glasses both dropped in August. Compared with a month earlier, the factory price of cement shed 3.5 percent, and that of flat glass moved down 0.4 percent. Year on year, price of cement declined by 13.5 percent, and flat glass down 7 percent.
China's property market, a major consumer of cement and flat glass, took a downturn in 2014 due to weak demand and a surplus of unsold homes. The cooling has continued into 2015, with both sales and prices falling and investment slowing.
The central bank has moved to combat the slowdown, cutting benchmark interest rates four times since November and lowering banks' reserve requirement ratio twice since February.
Of the 70 large- and medium-sized cities surveyed in August, new home prices climbed month on month in 35, up from 31 the previous month, with 26 reporting month on month price declines.
Year on year, 62 cities reported new home price drops, down from July's 67.