Asia Ends the Week Lower on Slowdown Fears

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

Hello to our viewers all over China.

You're watching “Asia Market Daily”, co-produced by CCTV Business Channel and CNBC, first in business worldwide.

I am Saijal Patel and here are the top stories across Asia today.

It's the last day of the campaign trail In Australia. The country goes to the polls this weekend.

And it's been touted as Australia's tightest election in decades.

Here's Matthew Taylor, our correspondent in Sydney with the details.

Thanks very much for that, Saijal. Well the Australian elections coming right down to the wire just a day before Australians go to the polls.

Still no definitive leader, with opinion polls showing a 50-50 split on a two-party preferred basis, both the leading labor party on 50%, and the coalition also on 50%. Of course, this election will be won and fought, and also lost in key marginal seats right around Australia, particularly in the Western suburbs of Sydney, parts of New South Wales, and also parts of Queensland, where the state labor governments are very unpopular. so there is a consensus that many of these voters will take out their frustrations on the federal labor government. Well the two leaders have spent the last day of the campaign visiting a number of these marginal seats to push a number of their key issues. Let’s take a look at how their last 5 weeks of the campaign has unfolded.

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It's been one of the most unusual campaigns Australian's have witnessed in recent memory, dominated by big swings in the opinion polls and the presence of bitter former leaders at almost every turn.

And with just hours to go before Australia votes, the management of the country's trillion-dollar economy is shaping up as a key battleground on where this election will be won and lost.

The controversial tax on Australia's mining industry may have claimed the political career of Kevin Rudd, but the policy still plays a key role in labor's reelection plans.

The revamped “mineral resource rent tax” proposes a 30% tax on iron ore and coal projects. Labor says the funds will be used to reduce the company tax rate and boost superannuation.

The opposition however claims the tax will damage Australia's mining industry, economy and competitiveness. It too has pledged to reduce company tax rates, but says it can do so by cutting government spending.

(SOT) Greg Fraser, Senior Advisor, Fat Prophets:

“You'd expect to see all companies rise if there was no mining tax, will be different degrees of reaction, but probably more so from those companies effected particularly, BHP, Rio and Xstrata although its not listed here of course.”

Labor argues its fiscal stimulus helped keep Australia out of recession during the financial crisis. The opposition has labeled it botched and wasteful. Both parties however say they will return the budget to surplus as soon as possible.

The information super highway is another area where the parties differ. Labor plans to invest $43 billion in a National Broadband Network, with speeds of up to 1 gigabyte a second. The costs would be recouped by floating the network down the track.

The coalition has labeled the scheme a "white elephant" countering the proposal with a 6 billion wireless network that could provide speeds of 12 megabytes per second.

(SOT) Simon Rutherford, Portfolio Manager, Northward Capital:

“The nbn is a big thing for Australia as a whole we're vitally interested in the outcome of what that might mean in terms of Telstra and a company as an investment now. I think the operating metrics of the recent Telstra result overshadow a better outcome for Telstra if the nbn get shelved and the coalition get back in.”

The coalition has also pledged a maternity scheme that provides women with six months leave on full pay. The scheme would be funded by a 1.5 percent levy on Australia's top companies. Labor in turn has plans for a maternity scheme that provides 18 weeks leave on the minimum wage, funded with no cost to business.

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Well, Australia is also facing the likelihood of a hung parliament, once this vote has been counted, with neither major party winning enough seats to form a majority government. we are expecting the details out of the results on Saturday night, but this could flow through until Sunday. Saijal, back over to you.

Thank you Matthew.

And before we go, a quick look at how the markets ended the trading week.

Stocks in the region mostly in negative territory after Wall Street tumbled to their lowest close in nearly a month.

Investors flock to the safe haven Japanese yen, sending the benchmark Nikkei 225 lower by almost 2 percent.

There's market speculation that the central bank may loosen its already-easy monetary policy at an emergency meeting as early as Monday.

Meantime, South Korea's KOSPI finished lower by 2 tenths of a percent, ending it's 3 day wining streak.

While In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 was down by almost a percent, miners and banks were the biggest decliners.

In Greater China, markets also had a weak showing.

Hong Kong developers slid on speculation - more policy measures could be announced over the weekend

But the longer-term outlook for Chinese markets shows promise.

(SOT) Kelvin Tay, Chief investment strategist, UBS:

“I believe the US economy will gradually recover towards the end of this year, maybe in the first quarter of next year, that in turn will be positive for sentiment for China and Hong Kong. China and Hong Kong, China itself is not the world's second biggest economy, but I think if you were to ask me, the Chinese government is probably not too comfortable with that tag at this point in time, because if you look at the GDP per capita (much lower), exactly, very very diverse. GDP per capita of somebody in Chongqing is basically half or one third of that of somebody in Shanghai, so you're not getting, at this point in time a very general spread of income in the whole of China itself.”

Well, that wraps up today's business highlights.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC.


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