Morning business round-up: UK inflation rate falls

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

Inflation in the UK saw a surprise fall in March, official statistics showed.

The Consumer Prices Index fell to 4% from 4.4%, while the Retail Prices Index fell to 5.3% from 5.5% in February, largely due to a fall in the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The news followed a report from the British Retail Consortium, which said that sales on the High Street saw the biggest fall since records began in 1996.

These two indicators have led some economists to suggest the Bank of England will not start to increase interest rates as early as previously thought.

Meanwhile, as the fallout from Japan's nuclear disaster continues, a report by JP Morgan has estimated that Tepco may face as much as 2 trillion yen ($23.6bn; £14.5bn) in compensation claims.

The company has been attempting to contain the radiation leak crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also downgraded its view on Japan's economy in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. It now expects Japan's economy to grow by 1.4% this year, compared with a previous forecast of 1.6%.

But the IMF maintained its forecast for the global economy, saying it expects it to grow by 4.4% in 2011.

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The IMF also warned about the impact of high oil prices on the global economy.

This was also reflected in a report from the International Energy Agency which said that the high price of oil was beginning to have an effect on energy demand.

Global oil output fell by about 700,000 barrels per day in March due to unrest in Libya, the agency said.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is travelling to China, as the two countries look to boost economic ties.

Back in India, telecom minister, Kapil Sibal, has proposed a slew of changes to the country's telecom policy in an attempt to streamline the industry.

The president of Iceland told the BBC that the UK and the Netherlands would get back the 4bn euros (£3.5bn) they paid when Iceland's banking system collapsed in 2008, despite the country rejecting the latest repayment plan in a referendum at the weekend.

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said assets from the collapsed bank Landsbanki would "in all likelihood" cover what was owed.

And in the Irish Republic, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) announced plans to cut more than 2,000 jobs as it reported a sharp increase in losses.

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