Morning business round-up: Focus moves to US budget clash


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

The looming clash over US budget measures is now set to become the focus of investor attention following the re-election of Barack Obama.

President Obama needs to secure a deal with the US Congress to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff".

This refers to the $600bn (£375bn) of tax rises and spending cuts that are due to hit the US economy in January.

There was little reaction to President Obama's victory result on the markets, with shares in Europe up slightly.

The main share indexes in the UK, Germany and France were up by between 0.3-0.5% in morning trade.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has pleaded with politicians to vote through a fresh round of austerity measures crucial to securing the country's next round of bailout funds.

The Greek Parliament will vote later on 13.5bn euros ($17.3bn; £10.5bn) of measures, including tax rises and pensions cuts.

Greek unions are planning to mass outside parliament in protest.

France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, has reported a big rise in quarterly profit, led by its investment banking arm.

The bank's net profit rose to 1.3bn euros ($1.7bn; £1bn) for the July to September period, compared with 541m euros a year earlier, when it was hit by a big loss on its Greek investments.

Fellow financial group ING has announced that it is cutting almost 2,500 jobs as part of a restructuring of its European operations. This includes the closure of ING Lease UK, which could have an impact on the availability of funding for small businesses.

It said clean-up costs and compensation claims for those affected by leaks at the plant may exceed initial estimates.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Radiation leaks at the plant after last year's quake and tsunami saw thousands of people evacuated from the area.

The firm has already received 1tn yen ($12.5bn; £7.8bn) in government aid.

Luxury fashion house Burberry - famed for its camel, red and black check design - has reported better-than-expected half-year profits.

Underlying profits for the six months to 30 September rose 6% to £173m, ahead of analysts' forecasts

The latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service considers what Barack Obama's re-election means for America's economy and for the world.

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