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China's Economy Slows in Third Quarter

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

Hello, I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC and you're watching “Asia Market Daily”.

It was a mixed session across Asia.

The Nikkei eased ever so slightly while the KOSPI regained earlier losses to finish a quarter of a percent higher.

But losses from the banking stocks putting a cap on the KOSPI's gains.

Hana Financial led the losses, plunging more than 7 percent - after Singapore's Temasek sold its entire 9.6 percent stake in the South Korean bank.

The Shanghai market closed down almost 1 percent - as banking stocks lost ground on the back of profit taking.

While the Hang Seng was fairly flat in late trade - held back by the telcos.

China Mobile was a big drag on the Hong Kong market, falling just over 2 percent at one point - as investors responded to its earnings results, which were released after the market closed yesterday.

The world's biggest mobile operator announced just a 3.5 percent rise in third quarter profit - to 29.6 billion yuan.

The big news of the day though was the range of data, which showed China's economy is still strong, but not overheating.

GDP growth slowed in the third quarter, to 9.6 percent on year, which was just a touch better than forecasts of 9.5 percent.

Inflation rose - as expected - to a 23-month high of 3.6 percent on year.

PPI remained at 4.3 percent on year - versus expectations of 4.1 percent, while industrial output came in slightly weaker than expected - at 13.3 percent on year.

Finally, retail sales grew just a bit more than analysts were expecting coming in at 18.8 percent on year, compared with forecasts of 18.5 percent.

Morgan Stanley's Jerry Lou joined CNBC to break down the numbers telling Bernie Lo there were no big surprises.

(SOT) Jerry Lou, MD & China Strategist, Morgan Stanley:

“I think there have been some marginal you know errors plus minus you know. I would say CPI is slightly higher than expected you know. We expected 3.5, and it was 3.6. Power generation you know falling into the single digit, but not really that scary because if you think about what China did in September you know, shutting down plants and unplugging things to meet the power target, emission target I think that should be expected as well. Consumption is very good news, I think the retail sales was further strengthening so that's all together putting together a really good picture I would say, fundamentally fairly strong, not overheating, inflation moderately high, so that's especially given the rate hike they've done you know, reasonably, it's not really that surprising.”

On to the currency debate, comments by the U.S. Treasury Secretary saw a brief spike in the U.S. dollar against the Yen and the Euro earlier today.

Timothy Geithner told the Wall Street Journal some major currencies were "roughly in alignment" - suggesting he saw little need for the dollar to fall further.

But Olivier Debarres of Credit Suisse says Geithner wasn't trying to put a floor under the Greenback.

(SOT) Olivier Desbarres, Director of FX Strategy, Credit Suisse:

“I think his comment was more about the dollar versus the majors rather than specific crosses and I think that's an important point to make. I don't think Mr Geithner has a level in mind or a floor in mind. As Treasury Secretary he obviously wants to emphasize that the policy of the U.S. is one of economic strength and that ultimately gets reflected in a stable currency over time, so I think it's perhaps more about managing expectations that the dollar will weaken further, it's perhaps managing the pace of which the currency weakens. But again I don't think it's about setting specific floor in the U.S. dollar versus other crosses.”

Meantime, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan has also weighed in on the debate - calling for all countries to move to market-based exchange rates.

Swan concedes this weekend's G20 finance ministers meeting in South Korea is unlikely to come up with any "definitive outcomes".

But he hopes ministers will lay the groundwork for the leaders summit in November.

He also said a weak Yuan is not solely to blame for global imbalances.

In other news, Canada's Saskatchewan province is about to hand down its verdict on BHP Billiton's hostile bid for Potash.

It's widely tipped to oppose the takeover, leaving the door open for China to make a move.

Fueling that speculation, Sinofert - a unit of China's Sinochem - revealed overnight it's signed a deal with various Canadian potash companies.

The agreement will ensure supplies through to the end of 2013.

On to the tech space, Apple has unveiled new software and hardware at its U.S. headquarters overnight - in the hope its PCs can operate more like its popular touch devices.

CNBC's Jon Fortt explains.

(Package starts)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs taking the stage here on Apple's campus to unveil lots of new software and one piece of new hardware. Let's start with the hardware first. This is the new Macbook Air. This is the 11-inch version. Quite small. Starts at $999. 128G of storage, Intel Core Duo processor. And this one finally has 2 USB ports and by Apple's calculation, about 40% longer battery life then the previous version.

But it's the software that was really the draw here. They were here to talk about the next version of OS10 due next summer. Codeword name 'Lion'. What's that got in it. Well, the main feature has to do with the touch technology that's so prominent in the iPhone. iPod touch, iPad, bring some of that to the Mac, make it easier to navigate. Few other highlights. There's now going to be a Mac App store. Bring that same ease of downloading, that same developer eco system that Mac already exists on IOS devices.

Also talked about iLife, the suite of software that comes on Macs preloaded. It'll be on all new Macs. That includes iPhoto, iMovie. It was really the iMovie trailer feature that probably elicited the biggest gasps and applauds from the crowd. That allows you to kind of create your own movie trailers out of your home videos. Beyond that, they also outlined several new software features again for ease of use within OS 10 and also talked about the general direction of the Mac including the hardware. The unibody in closure here on mscbook air is a signature design feature of Apple. Something Steve Jobs said, he expects to eventually migrate through to all notebooks. This is what the future of notebooks is going to look like.

And from a financial perspective, this could be why gross margin guides were so thin for the 4th quarter. This is available now, it starts at $999. which means apple isn't taking a lot of profit on this. They're really going for market share with all these new ideas that they have. For CNBC Asia, I'm Jon Fortt.

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And just before we go, an update on the typhoon heading for Southern China.

Ports in Hong Kong and Shenzhen have been shut down and tankers are evacuating, as Megi makes its way north.

The storm has already destroyed thousands of homes in the Philippines killing at least 20 people.

The super-cell is expected to hit the coast of China's Guangdong province on Saturday.

The brings you up to date with all the business news across Asia.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC, have a great night.

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