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Updated: Nov 7 2012, 07:49am hrs
France to extend $25-bn tax break to businesses

France will give businesses 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in tax credits over three years in the hope of sparking innovation and lowering the unemployment rate. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced the measure Tuesday, a day after a government-requested report suggested just such a tax break to boost the ailing economy. But the report said the break needed to be given over one or two years to have the maximum effect. Ayrault said Tuesday that the credit goes into effect next year, when 10 billion euros will be handed back to companies.

Greeks protest against cuts in spending

Hundreds of thousands of Greeks began a crippling 48-hour strike on Tuesday to protest against a new round of wage and pension cuts that parliament is expected to approve narrowly on Wednesday. The vote is the biggest test yet for the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which needs victory to secure aid from foreign lenders but has failed to convince its smallest coalition partner and the public to back the reforms. The strike brought public transport to a virtual standstill and shuttered schools, banks and local government offices.

UAE, UK plan defence pact around Typhoon

The United Arab Emirates and Britain plan to establish a defence and industrial partnership involving close cooperation around the BAE Systems-built Typhoon fighter jet, the countries said in a joint communique on Tuesday. The statement was issued as British Prime Minister David Cameron ended a two-day diplomacy and trade visit to the UAE. Cameron was due to arrive in Saudi Arabia later in the day.

Euro zone economy decline deepens in Oct

The euro zone economy's decline steepened going into the fourth quarter, as companies across the region endured their toughest month in October since June 2009, business surveys showed on Tuesday. Markit's Eurozone Composite PMI fell in October to 45.7 from 46.1 in September, down slightly from a preliminary reading of 45.8 two weeks ago and marking its ninth consecutive month below the 50 mark dividing growth from contraction. The weakness was spread across the euro zone's major economies, with business activity in the largest market, Germany, also shrivelling at a quicker pace last month.

BMW feels the pinch despite strong 3Q net

BMW, the worlds largest premium carmaker, has warned that it is beginning to feel the pain of a sickly European market, overshadowing strong quarterly results and a forecast record annual profit. Chief executive Norbert Reithofer said conditions were weakening, after the company posted a 14% rise in third-quarter profit that beat analysts forecasts. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 14% to 2 billion euros ($2.56 billion), exceeding the 1.72 billion euros forecast in a Reuters poll, due to strong demand in China.

Nissan lowers guidance on poor China sales

Nissan Motor Co cut its full-year net profit forecast by a fifth to $3.99 billion, joining rival Honda Motor, after car sales tumbled in China, the world's biggest autos market, amid anti-Japanese protests over a territorial dispute. Demand for Nissan, Honda and Toyota Motor cars in China was virtually halved due to protests in a row over disputed islets in the East China Sea. Nissan is the most exposed among Japanese carmakers, with China accounting for 27% of its vehicle sales. Nissan and its China joint venture sold 64,300 vehicles in China in October, down 4% from a year earlier. China is the company's biggest volume market.