A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Friday:

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LONDON _ Stocks pushed higher Friday, as better than expected U.S. retail sales data and positive corporate news overshadowed fears from Europe's debt crisis.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 1.2 percent, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.9 percent. France's CAC 40 ended 1 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.4 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China slipped 0.3 percent

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BEIJING _ China has made one of its biggest-ever purchases of corn on overseas markets, buying 900,000 metric tons of U.S. corn, showing that growing Chinese demand will play an ever larger role in global grain prices.

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ROME _ Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi survived a confidence vote in Parliament, but his narrow majority raises doubts over his ability to govern effectively during his country's economic crisis.

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MADRID _ Spain is blaming its latest credit rating downgrade on financial turbulence in the wider eurozone.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Buses, metro trains, trams and taxis were not running in the Greek capital, snarling traffic as public transport workers walked off the job for a second day in an unrelenting barrage of protests against government austerity measures.

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SINGAPORE _ Singapore cut its 2011 GDP forecast and warned that economic growth may slow further next year, prompting the city-state to slow the appreciation of its currency in a bid to boost export competitiveness.

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NEW DELHI _ The leaders of India and Myanmar agreed Friday to expand cooperation in oil and gas exploration, open up border trade and speed up the construction of natural gas pipelines.

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TAIPEI, Taiwan _ An official says Taiwan is seeking to sign investment agreements with the U.S. and European Union to head off competition from South Korea after its biggest trade competitor completed a free-trade deal with the U.S.

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