A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Wednesday:
ATHENS, Greece _ The political leaders backing Greece's coalition government have ended their meeting after seven-and-a-half hours without an agreement on the austerity proposals of the so-called "troika" of bailout creditors _ the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
LONDON _ Markets were cautious as investors waited for Greek political leaders to endorse an austerity plan that would allow the country to claim its second bailout.
The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed 0.2 percent lower while Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent. The CAC-40 in France also ended 0.1 percent lower.
TOKYO _ In Asia, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo gained 1.1 percent, its highest finish since Oct. 28.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.5 percent while mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.4 percent and the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index gained 2.8 percent.
BEIJING _ China's government promised to raise minimum wages by 13 percent a year through 2015 and to launch measures to generate 45 million new jobs.
BERLIN _ German exports climbed 11.4 percent last year to top the $1.3 trillion mark for the first time, official figures showed, though a decline in December underlined the likelihood of slower growth ahead as Europe grapples with its debt crisis.
NYT Editoral Board: The Indictment Against Rick Perry "Appears" to be "Overzealous" | Daniel Doherty
Why Gun Owners Need to Be Thankful to Robin Williams, the Ferguson Protestors and ISIS | Scottie Hughes