Eurozone recovery strengthened in January, survey says

Porsche cars ready for export

The recovery among eurozone private sector firms gathered pace in January, a survey has indicated, with growth at its fastest pace since June 2011.

The latest Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the eurozone economy rose to 53.2 from 52.1 in December. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

Growth accelerated in Germany while the rate of decline slowed in France.

Separate figures from the Bank of Spain showed the country's economy grew by 0.3% in the last three months of 2013.

It was the second quarter of growth in a row for Spain, although the economy shrank by 1.2% over the year as a whole.

Figures from Spain's National Statistics Institute showed that the country's unemployment rate edged up slightly to 26.03% in the fourth quarter of this year from 25.98% in the previous quarter.

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BBC Business Live

  1.  
    MARKET UPDATE 08:36:

    European markets have started the day steadily enough. There was some positive data from China with industrial profits growing at a stronger pace in the first half of 2014 than a year earlier. The biggest rise on the FTSE 100 so far is Reckitt Benckiser - up nearly 3% to 5220p - following its positive trading update.

    • The FTSE 100 is 0.17% higher at 6802.99
    • Germany's Dax is lower by 0.05% at 9639.04
    • France's Cac-40 is 0.30% higher at 4343.41
     
  2.  
    FRACKING LICENCES 08:29: BBC Radio 4

    Energy minister Matthew Hancock tells the Today programme there is "potentially" quite a bit of shale gas under the ground. That would be good news for our energy security, he adds. Areas need to be explored to see if there is shale gas in the ground first. Companies currently exploring for shale gas will then automatically be allowed to exploit it.

     
  3.  
    HEADLINES
  4.  
    RYANAIR TRADING 08:24:

    Ryanair shares have jumped 5% in the wake of its statement earlier this morning, predicting higher profits.

     
  5.  
    MARKET UPDATE 08:10:

    Asian stock markets are hovering near three-year highs, with China taking the lead after data showed a robust rise in profits earned by industrial firms. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 46% to 15529.4 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 1% to 24,456.5.

     
  6.  
    YUKOS AWARD 08:04:
    Kordorkovsky

    Yukos was run by what was then Russia's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The $50bn (£29.4bn) the Hague court is said by Reuters to be awarding the shareholders is half the $100bn they were asking for. The claim is from subsidiaries of Gibraltar-based Group Menatep. Menatep now exists as holding company GML and Khodorkovskyis no longer a shareholder either entity.

     
  7.  
    ARGENTINA DEBT 07:56: BBC Radio 4

    One more from Mr Caicedo on Argentina's debt woes. He says default will be very damaging for the country because it has been trying to normalise its relationships with capital markets and that will go out the window. He adds that will also mean Argentine provinces won't be able to go to the markets to raise cash by issuing bonds of their own - and that will start to feed into their ability to pay wages to government employees, among other things.

     
  8.  
    YUKOS AWARD 07:45:
    Logo

    Reuters has a report - citing unnamed sources - that the Hague's arbitration court has ruled in favour of a group of shareholders in former oil giant Yukos against Russia, awarding compensation of around $50bn. That's half the amount originally claimed.

     
  9.  
    RECKITT BENCKISER 07:37:
    A shelf full of Reckitt Benckiser products

    Reckitt Benckiser - which does a host of branded goods from condoms to cleaning fluid Cillit Bang - reports a 4% rise in sales for the past six months. Profits rose 16% to £1bn. The company has also decided to spin off its Suboxone pharmaceuticals business in the next 12 months, ending months of speculation over the shrinking division's future.

     
  10.  
    OVERPRICED HEALTHCARE 07:36: Radio 5 live

    Private healthcare is 15% overpriced, estimates Bupa. The healthcare group itself has been criticised in the past by regulators for lack of clarity around its policies. Bupa boss Damien Marmion says they're working on that: "We have addressed it substantially, but will continue [to deal with the matter]."

     
  11.  
    FRACKING LICENCES 07:27: Radio 5 live

    More on Fracking. David Hunter tells Wake up to Money the industry will obviously will need to regulated properly. "It is right that we are clear on how tight regulation should be," he says, but "it's also clear we should be spending more time assessing the potential of fracking" given energy security concerns, he adds.

     
  12.  
    MOTHERCARE FUTURE 07:20:
    Pushchairs on sale at a Mothercare store

    Mothercare has responded to the news US rival Destination Maternity has gone off the idea of bidding for it with a corporate shrug. A statement says it "notes" the offer withdrawal and also "notes" it has had no contact with Destination Maternity for about six weeks. It says under new boss Mark Newton-Jones it is now "fully focused" on its turnaround plan.

     
  13.  
    OVERPRICED HEALTHCARE 07:13: Radio 5 live
    Bupa sign

    Private healthcare is overpriced, says ... private healthcare provider Bupa. Damien Marmion, its managing director of UK Insurance. He says the whole industry is to blame, especially the price charged by hospitals. He says prices need to go down by about 15%.

     
  14.  
    RYANAIR TRADING 07:02:
    Ryanair plane landing

    Irish airline Ryanair reports better than expected first quarter earnings. Pre-tax profits rose to 223.6m euros (I£176.8m) in the three months to 30 June up from 88.5m euros a year earlier. Full-year profit guidance is up, too, to between 620m euros and 650m euros for the full year.

     
  15.  
    FRACKING LICENCES 06:49: Radio 5 live

    Fracking will not necessarily lead to lower energy prices, David Hunter from Schneider Electric tells Wake Up to Money. It is important that the UK assess the potential of fracking, especially given Europe's currently fractious [a-hem] relationship with Russia. It's more about energy security than lower prices, Mr Hunter says.

     
  16.  
    GSK BREAK-UP? 06:40:
    Horlicks jars

    The Financial Times goes with the boss of drugs giant GSK is considering breaking up the company, should its consumer healthcare division be worth more as a standalone company. And yes, that division owns Horlicks, as well as mega-brands like Aquafresh and Corsodyl.

     
  17.  
    ARGENTINA DEBT 06:32: BBC Radio 4

    More on Argentina's debt woes. It is risking falling into default for the second time in 12 years, says Carlos Caicedo, senior principal analyst on country risk at IHS Global Insight. In fact, this looks like the most likely outcome after the Argentine economic minister failed to arrive in New York for talks on Friday. Leading Hedge Fund NML Capital believes Argentina will definitely default on its loans, he adds, and the government's refusal to meet and talk with its creditors isn't helping matters.

     
  18.  
    ARGENTINA DEBT 06:23: Radio 5 live

    It is more than 10 years since Argentina announced it couldn't pay back its debts. Most bondholders accepted a deal to get back a small percentage in exchange for writing off those debt. But some bonds are owned by US hedge funds who want full repayment. Argentina says no, but there's a court deadline on Wednesday. Deborah Zandstra, a specialist in debt restructuring at Clifford Chance, tells Wake Up to Money the move will have wider repercussions: "Essentially Argentina is being put into a position of defaulting on its bonds. That will trigger cross defaults on its other debts."

     
  19.  
    FRACKING LICENCES 06:09: BBC World News
    Brenda Kelly

    Brenda Kelly from IG Index is reviewing the newspapers on World News. "It is interesting to compare the Guardian's coverage with the Telegraph. The Guardian says there will be drilling but the Telegraph says it won't. There are a huge amount of environmental issues - the amount of water used, the risk of small earthquakes, for example. All energy firms will have to provide an environmental statement if they are going to drill near sites of natural beauty."

     
  20.  
    FRACKING LICENCES 06:03: Radio 5 live
    Barton Moss Results from test drilling for shale gas at Barton Moss, Salford are being analysed

    Energy companies are being invited to bid for licences to extract oil and gas from large areas of Britain, using the controversial process known as fracking. The technique will be all but banned from national parks and other environmentally sensitive areas. Mike Bradshaw, professor of Global Energy at Warwick Business School, tells Radio 5 live people are concerned: "We've got very limited experience of fracking in the UK. So we don't know the answer to many of the questions that people have about what fracking will look like under UK and EU regulations which are very different from those that exist in the United States."

     
  21.  
    06:01: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks, as ever you can get in touch with us by email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter @bbcbusiness.

     
  22.  
    06:00: Rebecca Marston Business reporter, BBC News

    Monday morning. Here we are. Fracking is under the spotlight as companies start to bid for licences to drill for shale gas. Stay with us for the pick of the business news from the BBC and elsewhere.

     

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