Business

Morning business round-up: Spanish bond rates up again

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

China's manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in 32 months in November, according to the HSBC bank purchasing managers' index.

The news renewed fears that the economic powerhouse is losing steam, and contributed to 2% falls on the Hong Kong and Sydney stock markets.

China's PMI, a measure of the goods and services companies buy each month, fell to 48 from 51 in October.

The US economy grew at a slower pace than previously estimated in the three months to the end of September.

Revised figures from the US Commerce Department show gross domestic product grew at an annual pace of 2% in the period, down from the previous estimate of 2.5%.

Despite the downward revision, the quarter's growth was still up from the April-June period's 1.3% figure.

Shares in European travel firm Thomas Cook have recovered somewhat from Tuesday's sharp fall, trading at around 13p.

On Tuesday, the company's shares fell from 41p to close at 10.2p after it said it was in talks with banks about increasing borrowings.

It has delayed releasing full year results until talks are finished.

Thomas Cook had also warned that trading had "deteriorated", due to political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and floods in Thailand.

The Australian government's plan to impose a 30% tax on big mining companies has cleared a major hurdle, passing through parliament's lower house.

It will go to the upper senate early next year, but is expected to pass.

The government said the tax was a way to distribute wealth more evenly from Australia's resources boom.

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Venezuela is introducing more price controls in a bid to tackle inflation, on course to be be 27% this year.

The prices of 18 products, including soap and shampoo, are being frozen with immediate effect while other sectors will be examined in the coming months.

Firms, including multinationals such as Colgate and Pepsi-Cola, will have to report production costs so officials can set what is deemed a fair price.

China has become the world's largest smartphone market by volume after it overtook the US in the third quarter.

Smartphone shipments to China rose to a record 24m during the period, compared with 23m for the US, according to research done by Strategy Analytics.

The consultancy said shipments to China were boosted by "a wave of low-cost Android models from local Chinese brands".

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced new measures to help countries protect themselves from the eurozone debt crisis.

The Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) is designed to help countries with "sound economic fundamentals" meet short-term financing needs.

To qualify, countries must also have "sound policies".

The latest edition of Business Daily looks at Enron, ten years after its collapse and talks to some of its former employees.

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