Morning business round-up: Greece default back in focus

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

Greece and its debt problems are back in focus after the risk of Greece defaulting was put at 'at 50:50' by rating agency Moody's.

The organisation cut its rating by three notches from B1 to Caa1 - just five notches short of default.

The new rating means Greece is 50% likely to default on or restructure its debts in the next five years, according to Moody's methodology.

The trading day began with falling share markets in Asia after weak US data depressed the rest of the world.

According to the latest data, US manufacturing in May slowed to its lowest level since 2009.

The poor economic data raised concerns about a dip in the global economic recovery.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.7% and Australian shares fell 2.2%.

Wall Street's biggest fall in 10 months then followed through into European trading.

But worst hit were carmakers. Peugeot suffered most, falling 5% in early Thursday trading, while Volkswagen, Daimler and Renault were down about 2% each.

The losses came after new data showed car sales had continued to drop in France and Spain in May, following the expiry of government subsidies for sales.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

In deals, Chinese PC maker Lenovo agreed to buy Germany's electronics retailer Medion to boost its sales in Europe.

Lenovo, the world's fourth-biggest computer maker, has been trying to establish itself as a leading player in developed markets.

Meanwhile, in Japan, the disruption from the earthquake continues to be felt.

Japanese air travel slumped 31% in April compared with a year ago as a result of the turmoil caused by the quake and the subsequent tsunami, according to the International Air Travel Association (IATA).

In the UK, a study showed public sector pay deals had fallen to zero for the first time since records began in the 1960s, according to the pay organisation Incomes Data Services.

The government has ordered a freeze in wages for people on the public payroll.

Private sector pay rose by 3% for the same three-month period.

For a wider look at the world of business, you can download the latest Business Daily podcast, which asks whether the corruption scandals that have rocked world football will put off the sponsors.

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