Morning business round-up: Yen hits record high

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

The Japanese yen hit its strongest level against the US dollar since the end of World War II, while the Nikkei 225 index shed another 1.4% on concerns about how the strong yen will hit exporters.

The currency has been strengthening steeply since Japan was devastated by a magnitude 9 earthquake on Friday.

In another development, the Bank of Japan pumped a further six trillion yen ($76bn; £47bn) into the country's financial markets in an attempt to stabilise them.

And China suspended approval for new nuclear power stations following the impact of the Japanese disaster on the country's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

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Another sign of the wider effects of the Japanese crisis came as global property firm Savills warned of uncertainties in the Asian market.

Despite the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt opened higher.

Among European companies reporting results, the continent's biggest airline, German carrier Lufthansa, saw a bigger-than-expected profit for 2010 of 1.1bn euros ($1.53bn; £957m), thanks to cost-cutting and a pick-up in long-haul traffic.

In South Asian news, India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, raised interest rates from 6.5% to 6.75%, the eighth rise in the past year, as part of continuing efforts to fight rising prices in the country.

In the UK, there was good news for the manufacturing sector, as UK car production rose 15.1% in February from a year ago, thanks to continuing export-led growth, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

And as people of Irish descent around the world prepare to celebrate St Patrick's Day, our reporter Shanaz Musafer looks at the financial boost that the event gives to pubs and bars every year.

Finally, for a listen to some of the wider trends in the world of business and economics, click through to our Business Daily podcast on the cocoa economy of Ivory Coast, paralysed by the political conflict there that is threatening to spiral into civil war.