Business

Morning business round-up: Greek strike begins

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

In Greece, protestors have started a two-day strike against new austerity measures.

The strikes have been organised by trade unions in the country which is expecting a vote by government ministers on the issue on Sunday.

Greek politicians finished talks with eurozone ministers yesterday and the country was presented with new demands to introduce more cuts and reforms

Eurozone countries are demanding the cuts before before Greece receives a further 130bn euro ($170bn; £110bn) in bailout funds.

Germany's inflation rate stayed high at 2.1% in January 2012, according to official figures from Destatis.

The rate is still slightly higher than the level recommended by the European Central Bank which is 2%.

Germany's big competitor in exports, China, saw exports fall in January, which was the first fall in two years.

The news has raised fresh concerns about the state of the global economy.

Both imports and exports fell in China with exports down 0.5% and imports plunging 15.5%

The fall in imports comes as China has been trying to boost domestic demand in an attempt to offset slowing exports.

India saw its biggest producer, Tata Steel, announce an unexpected loss for the three months to the end of December 2011.

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It lost 6.03bn rupees ($122m; £77m), compared with a net profit of 10bn rupees a year earlier.

Tata blamed the loss on higher prices for raw materials, as well as falling demand and prices in Europe.

It said the European debt crisis was hitting demand.

In the UK, Barclays reported a 3% fall in profits to £5.9bn after being by a poor performance from its investment banking division..

The bank said it had reduced its bonus pool for its investment bankers by 32% to £1.5bn in 2011.

Staying in the UK, Britain's producer prices rose 0.5% in January from December as the cost of alcohol, fuel and clothes increased.

The latest edition of Business Daily, asks whether the so-called Austrian school of economics can help Europe out of its crisis. Dr Irwin Stelzer of the Hudson Institute and Professor Robert Wade of the London School of Economics debate the issue.

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