Morning business round-up: Moody's downgrades eurozone outlook

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

The eurozone crisis has triggered another move by the credit rating agency Moody's, which lowered its outlook for the European Union's AAA credit rating to "negative" and warned that the bloc's rating could be downgraded.

It said the move reflected the negative outlook for the ratings of the EU's key budget contributors.

Earlier this year, Moody's put ratings of Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK on a negative outlook, saying these nations were all exposed to the region's debt crisis.

European austerity plans at the airline Lufthansa have prompted industrial action by cabin crew.

Staff are staging another day of strikes at three of Germany's biggest airports, leading to the cancellation of some 300 strikes.

Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin airports are affected.

Lufthansa cancelled short and medium-haul flights, but also services to and from Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Beijing and Mexico City.

The UFO union and Lufthansa have been in dispute over pay and working conditions.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

And still in Germany, drugs and chemicals maker Merck at its domestic sites by 2015 as part of a restructuring programme.

It said it had agreed the move with representatives of the 10,900 staff.

In February, the family-controlled company announced plans to cut costs across its businesses after setbacks in the marketing of two key drugs.

Merck said it would cut gradually: "The positions will be reduced in a socially acceptable manner."

In India, Ipolice have been carrying out raids across 10 cities as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in the allocation of coalfields.

They are searching the premises of five companies which allegedly misrepresented facts before being allocated the coalfields.

Government officials and company employees are also under investigation.

State auditors recently said India lost $33bn (£20bn) selling coalfields cheaply for years up to 2009.

The global slowdown has seen another Australian miner curb its expansion plans.

The firm said it would defer the development of its Kings deposit and the completion of its fourth berth at Herb Elliott Port and would cut staff numbers.

Last month, giant rival BHP Billiton said it would delay plans to expand its Olympic Dam mine.

The latest Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service looks at the impact of Argentina's rising nationalism and protectionism on its business prospects. It also heads to India to look at some of the manual jobs that the country's rapid economic progress has not touched.

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