Morning business round-up: Japan firms rue China unrest

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

Japanese electronics maker Panasonic has suspended some of its operations in China after anti-Japan protesters attacked two of its factories.

The firm said its factory in Qingdao would remain shut until 18 September.

According to media reports, Canon has also suspended operations at three of its Chinese factories.

The attacks are a part of wider protests that have spread across China and hurt other firms, including car manufacturer Toyota.

They started after Japan said it had agreed a deal to buy a chain of disputed islands in the East China Sea from their private Japanese owner.

China has maintained its sovereignty over the islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

On the markets, world oil prices rose for the eighth session in a row, with Brent crude trading near a four-month high, boosted by the Federal Reserve's move last week to stimulate the US economy.

The central bank said on Thursday that it would inject $40bn a month into the economy.

Brent crude for November delivery was up 26 cents at $116.92 a barrel, while US crude was up 1 cent to $99.01.

There are fears that high oil prices could hamper economic recovery.

In India, there's continuing political fall-out from the government's much-delayed decision to open up India's retail sector to global supermarket chains.

A key political ally, the Trinamool Congress party, has called for the move to be scrapped.

The party is to meet on Tuesday to decide on whether or not to withdraw from the Indian government.

Separately, India's opposition parties have called for a nationwide strike on Thursday to protest against the decision.

At the same time, India's central bank has lowered the amount of money that banks need to keep in reserve, in a bid to boost lending and spur domestic demand.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 25 basis points to 4.5%.

However, the bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 8%.

The CRR cut, which will inject 170bn rupees ($3.15bn; £1.94bn) into the market, comes as India's economic growth has slowed.

In company news, one of Europe's biggest pharmacy chains, Alliance Boots, has agreed a deal to buy a stake in a Chinese firm as it looks to expand in the country.

Boots said it would acquire a 12% stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Limited, for 560m yuan ($88m; £56m).

China, the world's second-largest economy, is home to more than 1.3 billion people, making it an attractive destination for foreign firms.

Nanjing is the fifth-biggest pharmaceutical distributor in China.

The BBC's Business Daily radio show on the World Service asks the question: are France's super-rich voting with their feet over plans for a new 75% tax on income?

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