China Shares End Lower, Construction Slows

Shanghai Mkt  Reuters

China stocks finished lower on Thursday dragged by real estate shares, as official August purchasing managers' index (PMI) data showed activity slowing in the construction sector.

The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.8 percent to 3,301.58 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.7 percent to 3,063.31 points.

"While the official non-manufacturing PMI remains strong, it did soften from 53.9 to 53.5 last month. This was entirely due to a fall in the construction sector sub-index," Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics in Singapore, said in a report.

"The stats bureau has blamed the drop on disruptions due to flooding and unusually hot weather but it may also be a sign that the recent property boom is starting to run out of steam," he said.

Real estate shares were among the top losers with the subindex falling 4.1 percent by the end of the day.

(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)