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

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BRUSSELS _ Greece needs about an extra $20 billion to get its debt down to manageable levels _ and the rest of the 17-country eurozone is being asked to help foot the bill.

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LONDON _ Markets took a breather after solid gains in the previous session, as investors positioned themselves for crucial U.S. jobs data that often set the tone for a week or two after their release.

Britain's FTSE 100 index of leading shares closed 0.1 percent higher. Meanwhile, Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent and the CAC-40 in France ended 0.3 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2 percent and Seoul's Kospi rose 1.3 percent.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 2 percent.

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PARIS _ France raised nearly $10.5 billion at a bond auction that saw its closely watched 10-year borrowing costs fall.

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MADRID _ Spain raised $6 billion in a bond auction that showed strong investor demand and a drop in the country's borrowing rates, extending a run of successful debt sales suggesting market confidence is improving.

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MADRID _ Spain's Labor Ministry says the number of people filing for unemployment benefits rose by 177,470 in January, taking the overall total to about 4.6 million.

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LISBON, Portugal _ A 24-hour strike by Portuguese public transport workers caused some disruption for travelers but had a spotty turnout, suggesting resistance to the government's austerity program is softening.

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BEIJING _ China's premier said that Beijing might contribute to European bailout funds, while visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed for help in persuading Iran to renounce any nuclear weapons ambitions.

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BERN, Switzerland _ Swiss exporters suffered under the weight of the strong franc last year with sales abroad growing a meager 2 percent largely because of orders received before the latest economic downturn.

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CARACAS, Venezuela _ Venezuela's oil exports to the U.S. have dipped in recent months to their lowest level in nearly nine years, according to new U.S. government figures, reflecting a long-term trend of declining oil shipments during President Hugo Chavez's 13-year-old government.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina _ Argentina's government says average salaries rose 29.5 percent last year, and revenues kept pace at 30 percent. Those numbers far outpace the official annual inflation rate of 9.5 percent, but more closely match what private analysts say is the true rate of inflation.

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CAIRO _ Egypt's benchmark stock index fell over 2 percent, paring an earlier plunge after deadly soccer riots the Wednesday night left 74 dead. The violence rekindled fears of instability like the unrest that has battered the country and its economy in the year since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

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