Morning business round-up: Oil price surges


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

Oil prices surged in Asian trading, with Brent crude rising above $124 a barrel. Continuing worries about supplies from Libya were blamed.

EU finance ministers meeting in Hungary are looking at the details of the bail-out for Portugal, following a formal request on Thursday evening, but doubts continue about whether the caretaker government can agree to the austerity measures that will be needed to secure the emergency loans.

Japan's government has set power-saving targets to avoid blackouts. Major power users have been asked to cut their consumption by 25%.

Toyota has announced that it would resume production at its Japanese plants between 18 and 27 April, but at reduced capacity. Production at all of its 18 domestic factories was suspended after March's earthquake and tsunami.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

The Australian government blocked Singapore's takeover bid for its stock exchange because it says the deal is contrary to national interests. The Singapore stock exchange made an $8.3bn (£5.1bn) bid for the firm that owns the Australian stock exchange in October.

US authorities are investigating whether HSBC encouraged US taxpayers to open accounts in India to avoid paying tax in the US. HSBC said it had not seen the summons but did not condone tax evasion.

There has been a ground-breaking ceremony for the new Disneyland theme park in Shanghai. The park will take five years to build.

And the focus in the US is whether negotiators can reach a deal on the budget to avoid the government shutting down at midnight. It would be the first government shutdown since 1995.

To hear about some of the wider trends in the world of business, click through to our Business Daily podcast which today looks at problems facing foreign mining companies in Zimbabwe.

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