Morning business round-up: Europe's market slump

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

European markets have fallen following Monday's announcement of a Greek referendum on the latest aid package to solve its debt crisis.

Eurozone leaders agreed a 50% debt write-off for Greece last week as well as strengthening Europe's bailout fund.

But the announcement of a referendum has cast doubt on whether the deal will be able to go ahead.

Several global financial institutions have announced cost-cutting measures, with Swiss bank Credit Suisse saying it will shed another 1,500 jobs from its global workforce of 50,700.

The job cuts come on top of 2,000 announced in July. Meanwhile, Japanese investment bank Nomura said it was tripling its cost-cutting target to $1.2bn, while Denmark's Danske Bank said it would lay off 2,000 staff in the next three years.

As fears of a slowdown in the global economy continue, the Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates in an attempt to boost growth.

The central bank lowered its key rate to 4.5% from 4.75%, the first cut since April 2009.

The move comes amid fears that the debt crisis in Europe and weak performance in the US may hurt growth worldwide.

And China has reported an unexpected drop in manufacturing activity, raising fresh concerns about the impact of a global slowdown on its economy.

China's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 50.4 in October from 51.2 in the previous month, the first drop in three months.

The data comes amid fears that a slowdown in the global economy may dent demand for Chinese goods.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

Elsewhere in Asia, the economic impact of the floods in Thailand continues to be felt. Carmaker Honda is to cut production at its factories in the US and Canada by 50% because of a shortage of parts in the wake of the floods.

The company also withdrew its earnings guidance, saying the floods made it difficult to estimate the numbers.

The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The growth in the July-to-September period compared with a 0.1% expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) in the previous quarter.

But analysts said growth in the second quarter of the year had been dampened by one-off factors, so the third-quarter figures should not be interpreted as a big economic rebound.

In other UK economic news, house prices increased year-on-year for the first time for six months in October, with a 0.8% rise, the Nationwide building society said. Price rose by 0.4% in October compared with the month before.

You can hear more on the Greek referendum announcement in the latest edition of Business Daily, which asks why Prime Minister George Papandreou has decided to put the latest austerity measures to the people.

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