Morning business round-up: Australian dollar at record

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

The Australian dollar has reached an all-time high against its US counterpart as commodities such as gold and silver continue to reach their own record highs. Australia is one of the biggest suppliers of commodities in the world.

The world's largest mobile operator, China Mobile, has surpassed 600 million subscribers after increasing its number of customers in rural areas.

Investors interested in telecoms will also be looking forward to the market reaction to Apple, who said on Wednesday that its profits nearly doubled as sales of its best-selling iPhone soared.

Shares in Nokia rose in Europe after the mobile phone maker reported better-than-expected first quarter profits, and added it had struck a long-awaited deal to develop smartphone technology with Microsoft.

However, Nokia's market share fell 4% to 29% in the quarter as a result of competition from cheaper rivals and the popularity of other manufacturers' smartphones.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

Italy's Fiat has confirmed it will take an additional 16% stake in Chrysler, the US's third-largest carmaker, for $1.27bn (£774m). At 46%, Fiat is poised to become the largest shareholder if Chrysler meets more performance targets.

In the UK, homebuilder Persimmon said there were some signs of recovery in the new homes market.

And sports fans in the US may be surprised to hear that the New York Yankees are no longer the world's best paid sportsmen. That honour falls to players at Spanish football clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, who pay their players more than $7m a year.

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