Morning business round-up: Optimism fuels the markets


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

European stock markets enjoyed initial gains amid confidence that eurozone leaders will this weekend agree concrete proposals to solve the eurozone debt crisis, but doubts set in later, dragging shares down again.

A closely-watched report warning that the UK economy is at a was a stark reminder that, despite all the hope and optimism, Europe faces deep-rooted problems.

Philips, the Dutch consumer electronics giant, underlined these difficulties by announcing another 4,500 job cuts.

Alongside the announcement, Philips posted a sharp fall in third-quarter profits.

There was better news for oil group BP, which agreed a $4bn settlement with Anadarko Petroleum over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Investors saw it as a big breakthrough in the long-running legal battles between BP and its partners in the Gulf exploration project, sending its shares 5% higher.

International security group G4S surprised investors with a £5.2bn ($8.2bn) acquisition of Denmark's ISS.

However, G4S shareholders did not like news that they would be asked for up to £2bn to help finance the deal. The company's shares were almost 20% down in morning trading.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

In China, Wal-Mart's troubles over the alleged mislabeling of pork products intensified. The company's chief executive officer, Ed Chan, and another senior executive resigned.

The allegations have led to the closure of 13 stores and detention of 37 Wal-Mart employees.

Meanwhile, the battle between Samsung and Apple over alleged copyright infringement continues.

Samsung is seeking a ban on sales of iPhone4S in Australia and Japan. It follows similar action in France and Italy.

The move comes after a court in Australia temporarily banned the sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Finally, the latest edition of Business Daily from the BBC World Service looks at whether shareholders should get a smaller slice of company profits, to make capitalism fairer.

There is also a feature on whether the eurozone crisis has affected investment in Africa. Runa Alam, co-founder of the Development Partners International Fund, gives her view.

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