Morning business round-up: Australia in jobs boost
What's making the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:
Australia added 71,500 jobs in February, a huge jump and the biggest rise in total employment in more than a decade.
Full-time employment jumped by 17,800 and part-time employment was up by 53,700, said the country's Bureau of Statistics.
There was also a rise in the total workforce, which comprises those in work plus those looking for it. The unemployment rate remained at 5.4%.
Analysts said the data was a sign that economic conditions were improving. The Australian dollar jumped by more than half a cent to $1.036 on the news.
Elsewhere on the markets, European stock markets showed steady gains, with sentiment remaining positive following strong US retail sales figures on Wednesday.
China Mobile saw its profits rise 2.7% last year as the world's largest mobile operator increased the number of its subscribers to 710 million.
The state-owned company said net profits increased to 129.4bn yuan ($20.8bn; £14bn), on revenues up 6.1% to 560.4bn yuan.
Competition in China's huge mobile market is growing and costs are rising as companies invest in new technology.
Recent reports have said that China Mobile has been talking to Apple, raising hopes that it will soon be able to offer the iPhone.
The demand for smartphones is booming in China as investment in infrastructure reaches more of the population.
And competition in the smartphone market is set to intensify, with Samsung set to launch a device in its flagship premium smartphone range, expected to be named the Galaxy S4.
It follows the S3, a handset that has sold more than 40 million units. The Galaxy handsets are seen as the closest competitor to Apple's iPhone.
Analysts predict the phone will include software that tracks where users are looking and automatically scrolls down the page as it is read, without it being touched.
UK supermarket chain Morrisons has announced that it will begin selling food online by the end of this year.
It made the announcement as it reported a 7% fall in annual profits, with underlying sales down 2%.
Morrisons is the UK's fourth-largest supermarket, but unlike its rivals, does not have an online retail presence.
Chief executive Dalton Philips called the move "an important step". A deal on technology with online food retailer Ocado is one option being discussed.
The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service comes to you from the Gobi desert. Justin Rowlatt has been out to the huge copper, gold and silver mine which is helping drive Mongolia to the top of the league tables for economic growth. But will everyone benefit from this treasure trove? We meet a nomadic Bactrian camel herder and his family, a Mongolian rapper and the head of the mine itself.