Business

Morning business round-up: Stocks up on Bin Laden death

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

Market Data

Last Updated at 20:13 GMT

Market index Current value Trend Variation % variation
Dow Jones 23358.24 Down -100.12 -0.43%
Nasdaq 6782.79 Down -10.50 -0.15%
FTSE 100 7380.68 Down -6.26 -0.08%
Dax 12993.73 Down -53.49 -0.41%
Cac 40 5319.17 Down -17.22 -0.32%
BBC Global 30 10318.01 Down -35.66 -0.34%

Global markets have risen on the news that US forces have killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In Asia, Japan's main Nikkei index rose 1.6%, while shares in Europe were also higher. The news also lifted the US dollar, while oil prices fell more than 1% and gold and silver also lost value.

In Japan, the continuing impact of March's earthquake and tsunami was laid bare by a record fall in Japanese car sales in April.

Sales of cars, trucks and buses last month were 51% lower than a year earlier, trade figures showed. It was the biggest recorded decline since records began in 1968.

However, there was better economic news coming out of Japan, most notably, Japan's parliament passing a 4tn yen ($49bn, £30bn) emergency budget for reconstruction. The bill was approved unanimously by the upper house budget committee, and will help fund new housing for people who lost their homes. It will also support firms hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Meanwhile, in Europe data showed that the German and French economies grew strongly in April. The closely-watched Markit purchasing managers index showed that Germany's factory activity expanded for a 19th consecutive month in April.

In France, industrial activity expanded at its fastest rate in five months. But growth slowed in Spain and Italy, raising fears about a two-speed recovery in the eurozone bloc.

Finally, Business Daily, the flagship business radio programme of the BBC World Service, has taken a closer look at microfinance. It asks whether microfinance has become too commercial or greedy? Plus business journalist Lucy Kellaway gives a controversial view on female company directors.

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