Business

Morning business round-up: Italy pays record interest rate

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

The bad news from the eurozone continues.

Italy has been forced to pay record interest rates in a 10bn euro auction of treasury bills.

The rate of interest for the new debts due to be repaid in six months was 6.504%, compared with 3.535% in the last comparable sale on 26 October.

The rate for two-year borrowing was 7.814%, up from 4.628% last time.

Meanwhile, Moody's has cut its rating of the Hungarian government's debt to junk status.

The ratings agency blamed Hungary's high levels of debt and weak prospects for growth, as well as uncertainty about whether the government can achieve its goals for the economy.

Bad news also for anyone planning to travel to the UK next week, when strikes over pensions by immigration staff threatens to make airports grind to a halt.

The strikes are planned for Wednesday, although talks to avert them are continuing.

Meanwhile over in Asia, Japan has relapsed into deflation, as consumer prices fell for the first time in four months.

Weak consumer spending is the major factor, as well as the fact that rise in cigarette taxes last year dropped out of the calculations.

In the Japanese corporate world, the British ex-boss of scandal-hit camera-maker Olympus said that a meeting with the company's board was "constructive and honest".

Michael Woodford, who was sacked in October after he revealed that the firm had hidden losses, said the shared priority was for Olympus to avoid being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The Australian government has approved brewer SABMiller's $10.2bn takeover of Foster's.

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It did, however, pose a condition that the company must keep management of Foster's operations in Australia.

UK-based SABMiller has also agreed not to relocate any brewing facilities offshore.

In India, there has been uproar in parliament over the cabinet's decision to open up the retail market to global supermarket chains.

One key government ally, the Trinamool Congress, joined opposition parties in shouting slogans and unfurling banners.

Finally, some good news, of sorts: Americans can take their minds of the doom and gloom with some retail therapy, as Black Friday marks the start of the the holiday shopping season.

After polishing off Thanksgiving turkeys, millions of Americans will head to the shops on Friday for the busiest shopping day of the year.

On the other hand, if you'd rather see crowds of desperate shoppers whilst remaining in the comfort of your own home, click here.

The latest edition of Business Daily looks at why the Federal Reserve is calling for the toughest stress tests ever for its banks.

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