Business

Morning business round-up: Eurozone summit

What made the business news and moved the markets in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

In Europe, EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a summit aimed at stopping the eurozone debt crisis from spreading, one day after Portugal's parliament rejected an austerity budget, prompting the resignation of PM Jose Socrates.

Despite the problems, Europe's main stock markets performed well in morning trading, with London, Paris and Frankfurt all making gains. London did best, adding nearly 1%.

But not all markets were as fortunate. Trading on Egypt's stock exchange has been suspended for a second day running as shares again tumbled minutes after the market opened.

Shares dropped 6.5%, prompting a 30-minute suspension, following a near-10% fall on Wednesday.

Toyota Motors, the world's biggest carmaker, said it would slow production at some of its factories in North America because of a shortage of parts after the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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Meanwhile, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore became the latest countries to ban food imports from areas near Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant.

In the UK, leading oil industry figures warned that tens of thousands of jobs would go as a result of a windfall tax on North Sea oil producers announced in the Budget on Wednesday by Chancellor George Osborne.

There were also warnings of tough times for UK retailers as the volume of retail sales fell by more than expected in February and High Street clothing chain Next said challenging conditions lay ahead.

And Business Daily on BBC World Service looks at the cost of war - and by cost, we mean just that: how much the coalition is spending on its operation in Libya.