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Morning business round-up: Eurozone factory woes deepen

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

Manufacturing output across the 17-country eurozone shrank again in August, according to a widely-watched survey.

The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed the region's manufacturing sector contracted despite factories cutting prices.

Markit's final PMI was 45.1, above July's three-year low of 44.0.

However, it was the 13th month in a row that the figure was below the 50 mark, indicating continued contraction.

The latest figures from China showed its manufacturing activity fell, too, to a nine-month low in August, adding to fears that its economy is slowing faster than estimated.

China's PMI fell to 49.2, the lowest reading since November 2011.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the downturn in manufacturing unexpectedly eased last month as domestic orders boosted output, with its PMI rising to a four-month high of 49.5 in August from a downwardly revised 45.2 in July.

PMI is a key gauge of manufacturing activity and a reading below 50 shows contraction.

The new chief executive of the British Bankers' Association (BBA) has pledged to restore trust in UK banking.

Speaking on his first day in the job, Anthony Browne told the BBC: "I want to restore banking as a normal sector of the economy playing its part in economic growth."

Mr Browne said the BBA, the leading trade body for the bank sector, would work to regain public trust."It (banking) is in a pretty low place. Hopefully it can't get lower," he said.

Mr Browne said the BBA, which was in charge of collating the data used to set Libor - a key bank lending rate which became discredited after revelations of manipulation by banks - would do everything it could to fix the issue.

The head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has called on the European Central Bank to take action on the eurozone crisis.

"It has to be a credible signal," Angel Gurria said. "If you have the ECB which can work in the markets... then why not?"

The ECB meets this week amid much speculation it will resume buying the debt of countries with high borrowing costs. Germany and others oppose such a move.

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Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has doubled its stake in Virgin Australia amid a push to increase its global presence.

The airline said it had bought 221 million shares in the open market to take its stake in the Australian carrier to 10%.

Etihad has been looking to boost its international presence to take on other regional carriers such as Emirates and Qatar Airways.

However, Etihad said it was not looking to take control of Virgin Australia.

Tropical fruit supplier Fyffes has warned of higher banana and pineapple prices due to rising fuel costs and adverse exchange rates.

The warning came as the group posted a pre-tax profit of 22.4m euros (£17.7m) in the first six months of the year, up nearly 30% from a year earlier.

The company said revenues were up 20% to 550m euros.

Fyffes said it offset the higher costs by increasing volumes and overhauling its shipping costs.

Shares of Japan's Sharp have dipped after a report that it had offered to lower the price of its stake sale to Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry.

Hon Hai had agreed a deal to buy a 9.9% stake in Sharp at 550 yen per share in March.

However, Sharp's shares have plunged 66% since then, and the Nikkei newspaper has reported that the sale will be based on an average stock price instead. Sharp shares fell as much as 8% to 182 yen in Tokyo on Monday.

This follows a 13% plunge on Friday after the firm's credit rating was cut to "junk" status by ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

In the latest Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service the team addresses concerns that India's economic growth is slowing down. And as children in many parts of the world head back to school, the team will also ask whether the education system does a good job of preparing us for the work force.

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