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Morning business round-up: Greek austerity protests

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

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Greek police have fired teargas at protesters outside parliament as MPs prepare to debate new austerity measures required for the EU and IMF bail-out package.

Demonstrators around Syntagma Square in Athens responded by throwing yoghurt and stones. Thousands are taking part in a general strike, the third in Greece this year.

The protests come as ratings agency Moody's warned that it may downgrade the credit rating of three French banks because of their exposure to Greek debt.

Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale all face a possible downgrade because they could face losses if Greece defaults.

In the UK unemployment fell 88,000 in the three months to April this year to 2.43 million, the biggest drop since the summer of 2000.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, the the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in May rose by 19,600 to 1.49 million.

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In Asia, rating agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded its outlook for China's property market from stable to negative due to the country's tightening credit policy.

The agency said that as credit becomes more restricted there was a possibility of a downturn in the sector.

It comes as China once again raised the limit on the amount of cash that the country's banks have to keep in reserves in an attempt to rein in rising prices.

The central bank raised the reserve ratio requirement for banks from 21% to 21.5%, a record high.

Airline Qantas has cut its forecast for domestic growth as it faces various problems including the continuing disruption due to volcanic ash.

Australia's national carrier said it expected domestic capacity to grow by just 5.5% this year compared with the previous estimate of 8% growth.

Today's Business Daily podcast looks in depth at the Asian property market.

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