Morning business round-up: BP seeks Halliburton damages


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

Oil giant BP has asked its contractor Halliburton to pay for all costs and damages that arose from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The claims were made in a filing by BP's lawyer Don Haycraft in a US Federal court.

BP and Halliburton are locked in a legal battle with a trial expected this year to settle damages claims.

The offshore spill was the worst in US history, while a blast at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers.

German unemployment fell to its lowest rate in December since 1991, according to the German Federal Labour Agency.

The adjusted jobless rate fell to 6.8% from 6.9% in November, the Federal Labour Office said.

This marked a new record low since figures for unified Germany were first published.

Asian stock markets rose on the first full day of trading in 2012 boosted by better-than-expected economic data.

South Korea's Kospi index rose 2.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2%, and Australia's ASX 200 added 1.2%.

Analysts said market sentiment was also boosted by gains in Europe on Monday, where Germany's Dax index rose 3% and France's Cac 40 ended 2% higher.

Iran's currency dropped 12% against the US dollar after the US unveiled fresh sanctions targeting its central bank.

According to reports, the rial was being traded at 17,800 to the dollar by money changers in Tehran on Monday, down from 15,900 on Sunday.

The US has threatened to take action against foreign firms and institutions dealing with the Iranian central bank.

Media caption, Biz Heads

Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto has unveiled a low-cost car expected to go up against the world's cheapest - the Tata Nano.

The RE60 - Bajaj's first foray into the four-wheel market - was unveiled in Delhi and pitched as a solution to pollution and congestion.

The firm said the car had high fuel efficiency and low carbon dioxide emissions. It did not reveal the price.

Hundreds of Nigerians are marching in the commercial capital, Lagos, to protest at the removal of a fuel subsidy, which has led petrol prices and transport fares to double.

They left from the headquarters of main trade unions, which are to meet on Wednesday to decide on strike plans.

About two dozen people have been arrested in the main northern city of Kano as they gathered to protest.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer, but imports refined petrol.

The latest edition of Business Daily sees Vanessa Rossi from Oxford Analystica join Justin Rowlatt to look at the big economic trends facing the globe in 2012

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