Morning business round-up: Greece worries hit euro

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

Greece and the eurozone debt crisis continued to grip the attention of the world's markets on Wednesday.

The euro hit a fresh four-month low against the dollar as political uncertainty in Greece continued to fuel speculation that the country could be forced to leave the single currency.

The euro fell more than a half a cent to $1.27. Against the pound, the euro slipped slightly to 79.6 pence.

The eurozone crisis also pushed stock markets lower and knocked oil prices.

On Tuesday, Greek politicians failed to form a coalition, meaning the country will go the polls again next month.

The eurozone crisis is continuing to affect growth prospects in the UK, according to the Bank of England.

The Bank has cut its UK growth forecast for this year to 0.8% from 1.2%, saying that the eurozone crisis is still the main threat to the UK's recovery.

It also said that the rate of inflation would not fall as quickly as previously thought, and would remain above the government's 2% target "for the next year or so".

Bank governor Sir Mervyn King warned that there was a "risk of a storm heading our way from the continent".

Airbus-owner EADS has reported better-than-expected first-quarter profits, despite taking a big charge to cover the cost of fixing wing cracks on the A380 superjumbo plane.

Airbus took a 158m euro charge to fix the problem, but EADS' first-quarter operating profit doubled to 480m euros, with revenue up 16% to 11.4bn euros.

In Asia, shares in Taiwan's HTC fell after US customs officials held up shipments of its new smartphones.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

In December, HTC was found guilty of infringing a patent held by Apple and there is a ban on the sale of any HTC phones in the US that use technology involving that patent.

HTC said that it had altered its technology and design, but that the shipments still require inspection.

Sina Corp, China's largest internet portal and media website, has swung to a loss in the first three months of the year.

Its first quarter net loss was $13.7m (£8.6m) compared with a profit of $15m in the same period last year.

The company said advertising revenue jumped 9%, sending its shares up 10% after hours.

However that was outpaced by rising costs, mostly on its Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo.

The latest Business Daily podcast considers how much money is flowing out of southern Europe because of a possible Greek exit from the eurozone.

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