Morning business round-up: Facebook raises share price


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

Facebook has raised the price at which it hopes to sell its shares this week from $28-$35 to $34-$38, potentially putting its total value above $100bn (£62.2bn).

The company said strong demand had pushed it higher.

A valuation at this level would make it worth more than the US corporate giants Disney, Ford and Kraft Foods.

Elsewhere, the crisis in the eurozone continues to pre-occupy global investors.

Shares in Asia fell after Monday's falls in Europe and the US, with investors seeking less risky assets because of the political turmoil in Greece.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.8% at 8,900.74, while South Korea's Kospi was down 0.77% to 1,898.96.

But later there was better news. The eurozone narrowly avoided returning to recession after recording zero growth in the first three months of the year, according to official figures.

In the final quarter of 2011, the eurozone had shrunk by 0.3%, and many analysts had expected further contraction.

However, the overall figure masked big differences between member countries. The German economy recorded stronger-than-expected growth of 0.5%, but the French economy recorded zero growth while the Italian economy contracted by 0.8%.

Investment fell 0.7% from a year earlier to $8.4bn (£5.2bn), said the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing. In March investment had dropped by 6.1%.

A ministry spokesman said the fall was partly because of the lacklustre global economy

Data released last week also indicated that China's economy is slowing.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

The UK's trade deficit narrowed in March, driven in particular by stronger exports to the US, China and Russia, official figures have shown.

The seasonally adjusted trade deficit in goods and services was £2.7bn, against £2.9bn the month before, the Office for National Statistics said.

Car exports in March were worth £200m more than the previous month.

The deficit on seasonally adjusted trade in goods was £8.6bn in March, unchanged on February.

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