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

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MADRID _ Spain's economic woes deepened as the government revealed that unemployment rose to nearly 25 percent, a day after a credit ratings agency downgraded the country's debt and warned it faces an uphill battle to get a grip on its finances at a time of recession.

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LONDON _ Investors brushed aside more grim Spanish financial news and lower-than-expected U.S. growth figures, helping stocks to rally at the end of what has turned out to be a solid week for markets.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.5 percent while Germany's DAX rose almost 1 percent. The CAC-40 in France was 1.1 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent while in mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.4 percent and the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.3 percent.

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MILAN _ Italy was forced to pay higher interest rates to entice investors to buy a little under (EURO)5 billion ($6.6 billion) worth of its 5- and 10-year bonds as jitters over Europe's debt problems have resurfaced.

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TOKYO _ Japan's industrial production rose 1 percent in March from February, led by automobiles, notebook computers and communications equipment amid a tentative upswing in the world's third-largest economy. The Bank of Japan expanded its asset-buying program to help support the country's economic recovery.

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PARIS _ France's bleak economic outlook has returned to the forefront of that country's presidential campaign after new figures showed the number of job seekers rose for the 11th consecutive month in March.

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GENEVA _ Switzerland's central bank chief said he expects a growth rate of about 1 percent this year, which should mean more unemployment but no risk of inflation.

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