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Speculators Fuel Boom in China Commodity Prices

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

Good evening,

I'm Chloe Cho from CNBC and you're watching “Asia Market Daily”.

Speculators are fueling a boom in commodity prices in China.

In just the last month, the price of sugar has jumped 25 percent to record highs... while over the past five months, it's surged 40 percent.

Prices of other agricultural products, such as cotton, ginger and garlic are also rising - as hot money is planted into the sector.

Investors - who can't put their funds into property, because of the recent government measures to cool the overheated market, and who aren't seeing many gains on the Chinese stock markets - are now looking to commodities to make a buck.

And demand for commodities is expected to keep rising - giving a further boost to prices.

Nobuo Tanaka of the International Energy Agency says the age of cheap energy, for example, is now over.

(SOT) Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, IEA:

“Where we see the supply and demand fundamentals of energy as a whole, yes there are plenty of elements. The emerging economies are using much more energy for the future is getting more the case. Supply is not coming up as such means that demand is much stronger than supply. And this means the higher price of energy as a whole. Oil, gas it's the same thing and ah how can the consumer be saving more, efficiency, but still we need to have energy for the growth. So cleaner energy is an issue, but in general demand is very very strong in the future.”

Voting is now underway in what's possibly one of the biggest game changers for the markets this year. The US midterm elections, where Democrats are expected to get trounced in the House of representatives.

CNBC's John Harwood has more.

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The early pre-election indications are that they are going to shake up the landscape Washington. More than 90% of democratic house seats are seen at risk. 11 held Democratic held Senate seats, and if you look at the NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll it shows that likely voters say they intend to vote Republican by 49 to 43 percent margin.

Pollsters say that translates into house gains well in excess of 39 seats that Republicans need to win control of that chamber and replace Nancy Pelosi as speaker with John Boehner.

It's more problematic for republicans to take control of the Senate because they've got to run the table almost every competitive race to gain the 10-seats they need to take control of that Chamber. But the certainty is that it's going to be a different congress and it's going to have a big effect on how expansive and extensive Barack Obama's political agenda will be. We'll see after the election to what degree the President wants to reach out to the Republicans and make compromises, while whether both sides are simply going to spend the next two years before the 2012 Presidential election fighting and in gridlock. Back to you.

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That's the latest “Asia Market Daily”. I'm Chloe Cho from CNBC, have a great night.All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBC Universal.