Morning business round-up: Eurozone nerves hit markets


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

World stock markets have fallen on fears that eurozone leaders are divided over how to tackle the debt crisis.

Reports have suggested that Germany and France are at odds over a rescue plan.

In Greece, thousands of demonstrators have gathered outside the country's parliament on the second day of a general strike, as MPs prepare to take a final vote on tough new austerity measures.

Police are braced for further unrest following violent clashes with protesters on Wednesday.

The bill being debated, including tax hikes and pay cuts, is needed to secure EU and IMF bailout loans.

In the UK, retail sales were stronger than analysts had forecast. Retail sales rose by 0.6% in September, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

But mortgage lending is still subdued, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Among corporate news in Europe, Nestle raised its sales growth outlook for the year after a better-than-expected performance in the first nine months.

The world's biggest food group saw double-digit growth in emerging markets.

Japanese electronics maker Sony postponed the launches of various products after flooding in Thailand disrupted production.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

The world's two biggest makers of hard drives - Seagate and Western Digital - have also warned of delays.

China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in an attempt to stimulate the market.

The minerals are used in everything from TVs to mobile phones and other high-tech devices.

The latest edition of Business Daily from the BBC World Service examines Italy's vast government debt and asks why are the Italians not taking to the streets as the Greeks are?

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