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Asia: Local Matters Trump Fed

Oil rose to a record $96 in Asian trading.

Still, the price hikes and rise in oil were great news for petroleum companies, which led gains in Hong Kong and bucked the trend in China.

In Hong Kong, PetroChina (PTR) gained 2.6%, to HK$19.90. The company's IPO in Shanghai is expected on Monday. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (SHL) rose 4.6%, to HK$6.41.

In Shanghai, Sinopec "A" shares rose 2.3%, to 19.64 yuan, while China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (SNP)soared 7.32%, to 27.70 yuan.

In other blue chip trading, China Mobile (CHL) ended flat, up 0.32%, to HK$157.50, while in Shanghai Aluminum Corp of China (ACH) slipped 3.26%, to 48.06 yuan.

Still, money managers remained largely unconcerned by oil prices, since China's rise has paralleled the surge in the price of the black liquid.

"One has to look back a little in history," says Khim Do, who manages $18 billion for Asia Pacific Fund in Hong Kong. "The oil price went from the low 20s to over 70 in three and a half years. During that time China has gone from strength to strength."

"The reason is that petrol content as a share of the wallet has declined, while the services part has increased as a share of the wallet," he adds.

After opening at a record 2,084, the Kospi closed flat, down 1.71 points, or 0.08%, at 2,063 as the won continued to surge vs. the dollar and inflation figures were higher than expected.

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