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Daily Scan: China markets slump, oil prices swing

By NexChange
Capital Markets

Updated throughout the day

September 15

Good evening everyone. China has now posted it biggest two-day fall in three weeks. The Shanghai Composite Index closed for the day down 3.5%, meaning it has now lost 7% of its value this year. The Guardian reported today that economists are now concerned that the Chinese economy is weakening faster than the official data suggests, showing growth of around 7% this year. Research from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie suggests the Chinese economy grew at an annual rate of 5.3% in the second quarter of 2015, and just 4.5% in Q3. Here is how the markets ended elsewhere in Asia:

Hang Seng: -0.49%
Jakarta Comp: -1.01%
KLSE Comp: +0.46%
Nikkei 225: +0.34%
Straits Times: -0.92%
Seoul Comp: +0.32

The Wall Street Journal reports that oil prices were also choppy in Asian trade today. The Brent crude swung between gains and losses on the back of volatile Chinese markets amid signs the US oil producers are suffering more from low prices.Here is what else you need to know:

Alibaba takes a hit after Barron's article rebuttal. US investors sent shares of Alibaba Group stock tumbling Monday following a critical article from Barron’s - despite a detailed rebuttal,  The stock fell as much as 4.9% Monday, touching $61.48. Wall Street Journal.

Credit Suisse nears deal to settle claims over dark pool Credit Suisse is expected to pay at least $80m to settle allegations that it misled clients about its dark pool, trading venues meant to allow asset managers  to trade large blocks of shares without moving the price against them. Financial Times.
Malaysia wants state companies to repatriate foreign earnings. Malaysia wants its state-owned funds to repatriate some earnings from the more than 500 billion ringgit ($115 billion) worth of investments made abroad. This is seen as a way to help stem the decline of the nation's currency, which has weakened by 26.3% against the dollar over the past year. Nikkei
North Korea Nuclear site "in operation". North Korea says its main nuclear facility, the Yongbyon complex, has resumed normal operations. The country was improving its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity", a state-run news agency said. Yongbyon's reactor was shut down in 2007. BBC
Beijing builds third airstrip on contested South China Seas islands. China appears to be building a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a US expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs taken last week. Experts say the strip is long enough  for most Chinese military aircraft, giving Beijing greater reach into Southeast Asia.

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