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The Deal

) -- Asian markets were mixed again Wednesday, as Shanghai and Hong Kong were both buoyed by reports -- carried on the official


news agency -- that a new Shanghai free trade zone could open as early as next weekend.

Tokyo slipped on fears about a renewed fiscal cliff debate in the U.S. The Nikkei was down 0.8%, at 14,620.53, despite the surge in the price of

Tokyo Electron

, as the market reacted to Tuesday's announcement of Tokyo Electron's $9.4 billion takeover by

Applied Materials

of Santa Clara, Calif.

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Reports Wednesday that China's biggest e-commerce business,

Alibaba Group

, has started to look at a listing in the U.S. instead of Hong Hong came too late for the local market Wednesday. But there's plenty of time for the Hang Seng to react Thursday to the idea that Hong Kong's strict rules banning U.S. style dual class share structures were to blame.

Alibaba's top table, led by founder Jack Ma, reportedly want to be allowed to control the board, in a similar way to


founders or the Murdoch family at

News Corp.

Europe also has been down ahead of a looming U.S. budget deadline on Oct. 1 and the renewed debate over raising the debt ceiling, as well as the continued concerns that the

Federal Reserve's

taper program has only been delayed for a short time. The FTSE 100 was down over 0.4% mid-morning at 6567.29 .