Morning business round-up: Relief at Spain bond auction


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

There was relief at the result of Spain's bond auction on Thursday, in which there was strong demand, even though some borrowing costs rose.

The 10-year bonds were sold at a yield of 5.743%, up from 5.403% when the bonds were last sold in February.

But the rate for two-year bonds dropped to 3.463% from 3.495% in October.

Spain sold all the 2.54bn euros ($3.33bn; £2.08bn) of bonds it was offering, with demand higher than at the previous sale.

In Asia, there was news that car shipments boosted Japan's exports.

Exports rose in March, helped by a surge in overseas car sales as the sector continues to recover from last year's natural disasters.

Car exports rose 33.6% from a year earlier, with overall exports up by 5.9%, latest trade data showed.

In company news, the mobile phone company Nokia reported a net loss of 929m euros ($1.2bn; £761m) in the first three months of 2012, following a profit warning earlier this month.

The loss compares with a profit of 344m euros in the same period of 2011.

Nokia warned on 11 April that it would make losses in the first two quarters.

At the UK retail chain Debenhams, profits edged higher.

The company reported profits of £127.1m for the six months to 3 March, up 1.4% on the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out new store openings, were up 1.4%.

The body sharply reduced a fine imposed on the company for price-fixing.

The original fine, imposed in 2007, was £121.5m, but the OFT reduced that to £58.5m.

It said the reduction reflected recent legal developments over fines and BA's co-operation in the case.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

The US carmaker announced plans to build a $760m (£474m) factory in Hangzhou.

Car production at the new plant is expected to start in 2015.

The latest Business Daily podcast heads for France. The country has high unemployment, public spending at 56% of gross domestic product and a massive public debt, but the economy is the main battleground in the presidential election campaign.

Plus, 20 years since the start of the siege of Sarajevo, the programme looks at how Bosnia is recovering from the devastating conflict.

Around the BBC