Morning business round-up: Spain's borrowing costs rise

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

Spain's borrowing costs have risen at its latest bond auction, as Spaniards prepare to vote for a new government to tackle its financial crisis.

The average yield on 10-year government bonds soared from 5.433% in October to 6.975% - the highest since 1997.

A high yield indicates investors have less confidence in the government to fully repay its debts, and it is perilously close to 7% - the level at which other eurozone countries have had to seek bailouts.

Italian 10-year bond yields passed 7% earlier this month.

Newly-appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is due to outline austerity measures aimed at steering the country out of its debt crisis.

He will present his plans to the Italian senate ahead of a confidence vote in the upper house.

Mr Monti, who has unveiled a cabinet of technocrats, has revealed little about his plans, but they are expected to follow demands made by the EU.

The head for Europe at International Monetary Fund (IMF) has resigned at a crucial time in the efforts to tackle the continent's debt crisis.

Antonio Borges said that personal reasons were behind his decision to stand down immediately.

He had been director of the IMF's European Department for one year.

Earlier in the year, Mr Borges was forced to retract comments in which he suggested the Fund might help Italy and Spain by buying up their debts.

Google has launched an online music store in the US, which will allow devices running its Android software to buy, store and stream MP3 files.

EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and 23 independent labels are providing content to create a library of 13 million songs.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

However, Warner Music Group has opted not to take part at this point.

The service poses a challenge to Apple's dominance of the sector. Apple launched its iTunes store in 2003.

In the UK, retail sales rose by a stronger-than-expected 0.6% in October from the month before.

Analysts had expected sales to fall, but a spate of pre-Christmas sales and promotions helped to lure shoppers, with prices down 0.4% in the month.

Northern Rock is being sold to Virgin Money for £747m, the government has announced.

The bank was nationalised in 2008 following its near-collapse at the onset of the global credit crunch.

In the latest edition of Business Daily, BBC correspondents report from across Europe on how cuts are affecting the public mood and the way people live.

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