Business

Morning business round-up: Senate votes on China duties

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

The US Senate has voted to uphold Washington's ability to impose duties on subsidised goods from China and Vietnam.

Some 80,000 jobs are said to be protected by current duties which cover steel, aluminium, paper, chemicals and other products from China, as well as plastic bags from Vietnam.

This follows a US court ruling against the practice. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill, which will then go to the president to sign into law.

In other US-Asia news, Goldman Sachs swung to a loss in Asia for the first time since 2008 following declines in the Chinese stock market.

Goldman's Asia division reported a loss of $103m (£65m) in 2011, compared with a $2.1bn profit in 2010.

In other Asian news, shareholders in the Tokyo Electric Power Company are suing the firm's directors over their role in the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

They want the directors to pay damages of 5.5tn yen ($67bn; $43bn) to the firm, claiming they failed to prepare for such an incident.

Japanese carmaker Nissan is to build a new compact model, called the Invitation, at a factory in the UK.

It said its £125m investment would create 2,000 jobs. The government is supporting the project with a £9.3m grant.

This came as the number of new UK cars registered in February was 61,868, down 2.5% from the same month last year.

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February is traditionally a quiet month for car registrations before new plates, which are introduced in March.

Also in the UK, the average price of unleaded petrol hit a record high.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said the average price of unleaded in the UK was 137.3 pence per litre on Monday 5 March. The previous record of 137.05p was set on 9 May 2011.

And UK house prices fell by 0.5% in February compared with the previous month, according to the latest survey from the Halifax.

The latest edition of the Business Daily programme asks, will there be another credit crisis? Lesley Curwen talks to economist Carsten Brzeski, who says the European Central Bank is crossing its fingers that the cheap loans it has provided for banks will save the day.

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