Morning business round-up: Libyan rebels to export oil

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

Libya's opposition groups are said to be about to export the country's first shipment of oil in almost three weeks. Lloyd's List, the shipping news and data provider, said that some 1 million barrels of oil were expected to be loaded and exported. The collapse of recent exports from Libya has helped push up oil prices, which on Monday hit a two-and-a-half year high.

There is confusion over whether Toyota will temporarily stop car production in the US because of parts shortages following the Japan earthquake. The firm has said reports that it would have to halt production in North America were a "total misunderstanding".

The ratings agency Moody's has downgraded Portuguese government debt by one notch and warned that a further cut may be necessary. It follows fellow credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut last week.

The patent wars have heated up as Google has bid $900m for 6,000 patents from bankrupt Nortel. Experts told the BBC they believed the final price could go well over $1bn.

Australia has posted a shock trade deficit for the first time in 11 months after the country's recent cyclone and floods dented exports. Analysts had been expecting a trade surplus.

Meanwhile the country's government has sent a strong signal that it will reject a takeover bid for its nation's stock exchange by the Singapore bourse, SGX.

The Australian Treasurer said he intended to accept advice that the takeover bid for ASX would not be in the national interest.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

In Japan, shares in Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) plunged to a record low as investors worried that the company would have to pay out billions of dollars in compensation.

Shares in the firm have lost more than 80% of their value since the quake struck.

And the Brazilian mining giant Vale has chosen a new chief executive, former director Murilo Ferreira. Roger Agnelli had been under pressure to leave the world's biggest producer of iron ore, following months of friction with the government.

To hear about some of the wider trends in the world of business, listen to our Business Daily podcast which looks at the projection that airline passenger numbers will double in the next 15 years and the problems that could cause.

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