Morning business round-up: Eurozone jobless at new high


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

Unemployment in the eurozone hit a fresh high of 18.2 million in August, the EU statistics agency has said.

The number of people out of work rose by 34,000, but revised data for July meant the unemployment rate remained stable at a record high of 11.4%.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, where 25.1% of the workforce is out of a job, and the lowest of 4.5% was recorded in Austria.

Shareholders will now vote on whether to accept the offer of 3.05 Glencore shares for every Xstrata share.

Glencore had raised its offer after its first bid was opposed by key Xstrata shareholders, including Qatar Holding, the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund.

A merger would form one of the world's biggest metals and commodities firms.

The bosses of BAE Systems and EADS have issued a joint appeal for support for their proposed $45bn (£28bn) merger.

The statement by Ian King and Tom Enders, published in UK, French and German newspapers, come as the defence and aerospace firms seek a tie-up.

They also need political support for the deal as France and Germany are keen to maintain their interests in EADS.

The deal faced another setback on Monday when Lagardere, a key EADS shareholder, expressed reservations and called for a review of the deal.

Lagardere owns 7.5% of EADS, but has an agreement dating back to EADS' foundation 2000 to represent the French government in its 22% share.

The Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the region was 46.1 in the month, up from 45.1 in August. Any score below 50 indicates contraction.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Despite the slight upturn, manufacturing in the eurozone has now contracted for 14 consecutive months.

China's PMI rose to 49.8 in September from 49.2 in August, government data showed.

Japanese businesses sentiment worsened in the three months to September, a survey has indicated, underlining the weakness in the country's economy.

The Bank of Japan's Tankan Survey measures pessimism and optimism among large manufacturers.

The index showed the mood deteriorating to minus 3, compared with minus 1 in the June survey. It has been negative for four straight quarters.

Analysts said demand had been hit by a weak global economic picture.

Iran's currency, the rial, fell almost 10% on Monday to a record low against the dollar, leaving it with a loss of 25% in one week.

The rial was trading at 32,250 against the dollar at 12:00BST on Monday.

On Sunday, it was worth about 29,720, according to the Iranian currency-tracking website Mazanex.

The fall suggests economic sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme are hitting economic activity ever harder.

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service considers whether almost zero interest rates actually get an economy growing again. The programme hears from Japan's businesses - which have had 20 years of low interest rates. Also in the programme, one of the architects of the euro, Otmar Issing, says more integration is not the answer for Europe.

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