A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Friday:
BERLIN _ Germany's economy will grow by 1.6 percent next year and a more modest 1.2 percent in 2011, the country's central bank predicted, declaring that the outlook has "brightened perceptibly" over recent months.
The Bundesbank's report came as lawmakers approved the first part of an effort by Chancellor Angela Merkel's new government to stimulate growth in Europe's biggest economy through tax relief. Germany's export-fueled economy emerged from recession in this year's second quarter.
The Bundesbank said that "prospects for the German economy have brightened perceptibly in the last few months," and forecast that the economy would shrink by 4.9 percent this year before returning to growth in 2010.
SEOUL, South Korea _ South Korea's economy expanded 3.2 percent in the third quarter, the central bank said, a better performance than initially estimated amid stronger growth in manufacturing, exports and services.
The revised figure for the three months ended Sept. 30 compared with the previous quarter remains the country's strongest growth in more than seven years since an expansion of 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2002, according to Bank of Korea figures.
The bank said in October that Asia's fourth-largest economy had grown 2.9 percent. The latest estimate is based on more complete data. The 3.2 percent figure equates to annualized growth of 13.6 percent, according Lim Ji-won, economist at JP Morgan in Seoul. The BOK does not provide an annualized number.
TORONTO _ Canada's unemployment rate slipped to 8.5 percent in November as the economy gained 79,000 jobs.
Statistics Canada said full-time jobs rose by 39,000, the third month of gains in a row, and part-time jobs also went up by 40,000. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.6 percent in October. Economists had expected a 15,000 gain in jobs overall in November.
WARSAW, Poland _ Poland's unemployment rate jumped to 11.4 percent in November from 11.1 percent the previous month, according to preliminary data released by the Labor Ministry.
The ministry said some 1.81 million people in the nation of 38 million were without a job at the end of November, or 67,000 more than in October. Official figures will come later this month from the Central Statistical Office, but ministry data seldom differ from official figures by more than a 0.1 percentage point. A ministry statement said that in November people lost seasonal jobs in gardening, construction, forestry and farming.
MOSCOW _ Russian state-controlled natural gas producer Gazprom said that Ukraine has paid its gas bill for November on time _ easing fears of a replay of last winter's supplies cutoff to Europe.
In January, a pricing dispute between Gazprom and Ukraine saw the Russian gas monopoly cut supplies to EU nations through Ukraine for two weeks. Europe gets around 20 percent of its gas from Russia, most of it via pipelines that cross Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine now have a new contract and Ukraine has met the latest payment deadline.
SEOUL, South Korea _ North Koreans burned piles of old bills in anger over their government's surprise move to redenominate the national currency, a report said, a sign of growing frustration among citizens left with hoards of worthless bills.
Earlier this week, the communist government informed citizens and foreign embassies that it would redenominate the national currency, the won. But it limited the maximum amount of old bills that could be converted into new ones, telling residents to deposit the rest in government-run banks, according to media reports and diplomats.
There are widespread doubts among North Koreans whether they would be able to get their money back, they said. Angry citizens burned piles of old bills at two separate locations in the eastern coastal city of Hamhung, reported the Daily NK, a Seoul-based online news outlet that focuses on North Korean affairs, citing an unidentified North Korean resident.
TOKYO _ Japanese stocks extended gains as the yen cooled, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index finishing above the 10,000 line for the first time in five weeks. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 44.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 10,022.59. The broader Topix index edged up 0.2 percent to 889.58.
SHANGHAI _ China's main stock market index jumped, ending the week up by 7.1 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.6 percent, while the Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second exchange shed 1.6 percent.
LONDON _ European stock markets pared much of their gains as investors reassessed an upbeat U.S. jobs report and a surging dollar hit commodity stocks hard, particularly in London.
Germany's DAX closed up 0.9 percent while the CAC-40 in France was up 1.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares underperformed its counterparts, closing up only 0.2 percent as the sharp rise in the dollar weighed on commodity stocks. A stronger U.S. currency typically causes commodity markets, priced in dollars, to fall.