Business

Morning business round-up: UK unemployment falls 51,000

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

Spanish and Italian bond yields have fallen, on hopes that eurozone nations have moved closer to a deal on lowering government borrowing costs across the region.

In the final communique from the G20 summit in Mexico, world leaders said the eurozone was taking "important steps... that lead to sustainable borrowing costs".

Media outlets have speculated this will mean rescue funds being used to buy government bonds.

However, G20 leaders gave no details.

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In the UK, unemployment fell by 51,000 to 2.61 million in the three months to April, official figures have shown.

The jobless rate fell to 8.2%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Overall, there were 29.28 million people in work, up 166,000 on the previous quarter. That was the largest quarterly increase since August 2010.

Private sector employment rose by 205,000 to 23.38 million, but the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 39,000 to 5.9 million, the lowest figure since March 2003.

In Asia, Japan's exports have risen the most in 17 months easing concerns about the impact of a global slowdown on the Japanese economy.

Exports rose 10% in May from a year earlier, boosted by a 38% jump in deliveries to the US.

Shipments to China, Japan's biggest trading partner, also rose for the first time in eight months.

Meanwhile, imports also rose by a better-than-expected 9% during the month, which analysts said was a sign that domestic demand may also be picking up.

In corporate news, Rupert Murdoch's Australian holding company News Limited has bid $2bn (£1.3bn) for James Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH).

The move is being seen as an attempt by Mr Murdoch to further strengthen his position in Australia's media sector.

A successful bid will give News Limited a 50% stake in Australia's dominant pay-TV business, Foxtel and 100% control of Fox Sports.

CMH shares rose more than 10% after the takeover bid.

The top commodities story was a warning from China that the decline in its rare earth reserves in major mining areas is "accelerating" and that most of its original resources are depleted.

In a policy paper, China's cabinet blamed excessive exploitation and illegal mining for the decline.

China accounts for more than 90% of the world's rare earth supplies, but has just 23% of global reserves.

It has urged those with reserves to boost production of the elements, which are used to make electrical goods.

And in our Business Daily podcast, there's detailed coverage of the Earth Summit in Rio including reports from the world's largest iron ore mine, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, and from Poland on cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

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