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Asian markets record mixed fortunes


Shenzhen’s Stock Exchange Building, Shenzhen

Shenzhen’s Stock Exchange Building, Shenzhen

ASIAN markets traded mixed on Friday, despite Wall Street’s positive finish overnight, as record low oil prices weighed resources plays and China shares opened in negative territory as another top executive was reported missing by local media.

“Most investors are ‘laying low’ ahead of the all-important FOMC meeting next Wednesday and Thursday,” Mark Matthews, head of research for Asia at private bank Julius Baer, said in a note Friday.

At the Federal Reserve meeting next week, policymakers are widely expected to increase interest rates for the first time in nine years. Shanghai Composite down, Fosun chief goes missing The Chinese markets opened lower ahead of another series of economic data due on Saturday, including retail sales, industrial production, and fixed asset investment.

The main Shanghai Composite index was down 15 points, or 0.42 percent, at 3,441. The smaller Shenzhen Composite traded 7 points, or 0.31 percent, lower at 2,204.

Away from the mainland, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 33 points, or 0.16 percent, at 21,668. Local media Caixin reported overnight another Chinese executive has gone missing.

This time, it’s 48-year-old GuoGuangchang, chairman of Fosun International. He is known as “China’s Warren Buffet.” Caixin said passengers at Shanghai airport saw Guo being taking away by the police as he traveled back from Hong Kong.
The company held an internal meeting to discuss the incident. Tencent Finance reported Li Haifeng, vice president of Fosun International, said the company does not yet have a clear picture of the exact situation.

In August, Xinhua reported Guo granted favors to an executive of a Chinese state-owned company 12 years ago in exchange for unspecified benefits.

Meanwhile, all of Guo’s posts on his Weibo account was removed on Thursday evening. Shares in Fosun International and Fosun Pharmaceutical, traded both in Hong Kong and Shanghai, were on a trading halt.

Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set its official midpoint rate at 6.4358 per dollar, its weakest level since August 2011 and 0.2 percent lower than Thursday’s fix. The yuan traded lower at 6.4448 against the dollar.

Shares in Chinese brokerages and banks were mostly in the red. Citic Securities was down 1.7 percent, Founder Securities down 2.37 percent, and Huatai Securities down 2.2 percent.

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