Mixed fortunes for Asian markets; BHP secures approval to expand Olympic Dam operation

<p>Asian markets are mixed in early afternoon trading, with losses in Hong Kong but gains in Korea and Sydney. Markets are expected to remain volatile […]</p>

Asian markets are mixed in early afternoon trading, with losses in Hong Kong but gains in Korea and Sydney. Markets are expected to remain volatile this week as European meetings around the sovereign debt situation continue. No quick outcome is expected. 

In corporate news, BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, received environmental approval to expand its Olympic Dam mine in Australia that will make it the world’s largest uranium operation. The news came as China’s Guangdong Nuclear Power company was set to reopen talks with uranium producer Kalahari as further signs that the stock prices of uranium stocks have possibly bottomed. 

In other regional energy news, China Petrochemical, the nation’s biggest refiner (also known as Sinopec), agreed to acquire Daylight Energy for around C$2.2 billion to gain Canadian shale-gas reserves in the company’s largest acquisition this year. The deal will give Sinopec access to more than 300,000 acres of possible oil and natural gas prospects, further diversifying the group’s energy holdings. 

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