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Morning business round-up: Strike over India retail reform

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

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Opposition parties and trade unions in India are staging a day-long strike over plans to open the country's retail sector to global supermarket chains.

Workers blocked railways in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, and Calcutta and Bangalore virtually shut down, but the response was more mixed elsewhere.

The reforms are essential to revive India's slowing economy, ministers say.

Spain's borrowing costs eased at the country's latest bond auction where it raised 4.8bn euros (£3.84bn) after selling three and 10-year bonds.

There was strong demand for the 10-year bonds, with investors bidding for nearly three times the amount on offer.

The average yield was 5.66%, down from 6.65% at the previous auction, and below the 5.95% average for the year.

The government's borrowing costs have fallen since the European Central Bank announced its bond-buying plan.

Activity among eurozone firms suffered its steepest contraction since June 2009, according to a survey.

The Markit Flash Eurozone Purchasing Managers' (PMI) Composite Output Index fell to 45.9 in September, the lowest for 39 months, from 46.3 in August.

The composite figure combines services and manufacturing activity, and a figure below 50 indicates contraction.

Markit said the results indicated the eurozone was heading back into recession.

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Japan's exports and imports dipped in August, raising fears about the impact of a global slowdown on its economy.

Exports fell 5.8% from a year earlier, hurt by slowing demand from the European Union (EU) and China.

Imports fell 5.4% from a year ago, indicating that domestic demand continues to remain weak.

The data comes amid fears that Japan's trade with China, its biggest trading partner, may be hurt by the continuing territorial dispute between them.

China's premier Wen Jiabao is to take part in his last EU-China summit before handing over power later this year.

His talks in Brussels with senior EU figures, including European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, are expected to focus on economic issues.

Beijing has previously expressed concerns about Europe's economic slowdown and offered to help.

Mr Wen is seen as having played a key role in building Chinese-EU relations.

UK media regulator Ofcom has concluded that BSkyB is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence but criticised ex-chairman James Murdoch for "ill-judged" conduct.

Ofcom was investigating the broadcaster in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that engulfed Rupert Murdoch's media empire, which owns 39% of BSkyB.

However, the regulator also criticised former BSkyB chairman James Murdoch, Rupert's son, for his role in the scandal.

Ofcom said his actions "repeatedly fell short of the conduct" expected of a chief executive officer and chairman.

The latest Business Daily programme on the BBC World Service looks at the recent turmoil in South Africa's Marikana mine as miners return to work, and asks if the solution to industrial unrest could lie in economic diversification.

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