Business

Morning business round-up: Gold hits new record

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

Market Data

Last Updated at 17:37 GMT

Market index Current value Trend Variation % variation
Dow Jones 21987.56 Up 39.46 0.18%
Nasdaq 6435.33 Up 6.67 0.10%
FTSE 100 7411.47 Down -27.03 -0.36%
Dax 12102.21 Down -40.43 -0.33%
Cac 40 5103.97 Down -19.29 -0.38%
BBC Global 30 10267.63 Up 14.03 0.14%

The continued impact of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last month continued to be felt in Europe and Asia.

In Asia, Japanese exports fell in March due to the continuing fallout from the tsunami, which affected the entire Japanese supply chain. In particular, shipments of cars tumbled 28%.

That news came as Toyota announced plans to cut production in North America by 70% and to reduce output in China by 50-70%, until 3 June.

The world's biggest carmaker will also close its UK plant in Derbyshire for two days each week in May to manage the current shortage of car parts.

The price of gold rose above $1,500 an ounce for the first time. The metal's status as a haven in uncertain times has been boosted by worries about the global economic recovery, especially given Standard & Poor's decision on Monday to cut its outlook for US sovereign debt from stable to negative.

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The price of silver also rose to a 31-year high.

The home of Harry Potter and James Bond, film studio Pinewood Shepperton, has received an approach from a possible second bidder.

The UK central bank remains split on the future of interest rates. Bank of England policymakers voted six to three, for the third month in a row, in favour of keeping rates on hold at a record low of 0.5% this month.

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