A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2010 2:43 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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BEIJING _ China's September trade surplus stayed high at $16.9 billion amid pressure from Washington and others to ease currency controls they blame for job losses amid a slowing global recovery.

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SEOUL, South Korea _ The upcoming G-20 summit of major economies should focus on the global recovery rather than individual currencies, a Chinese diplomat said as Beijing tries to defuse pressure to ease its exchange rate controls.

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BRUSSELS _ After months of agonizing, leaders of the European Union are closing in on new oversight rules to ensure sound finances, prevent another government debt crisis and restore the credibility of the euro. But leaders remain divided on key issues. And some analysts argue that even the latest proposals can't fix the bloc's fundamental problems.

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LONDON _ Industrial output in the 16 countries that use the euro rose by 1 percent in August, easing concerns that the sector's recovery was grinding to a halt.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 1.5 percent, while Germany's DAX spiked 2.1 percent.

The CAC-40 in France ended 2.1 percent higher. Trading had been suspended for around half an hour late in the session because of a technical glitch that closed all Euronext markets. Other Euronext platforms include the Bel 20 in Belgium and the Amsterdam's AEX.

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TOKYO _ Japan's machinery orders, a closely watched indicator of future business investment, unexpectedly jumped due to one-time purchases in August, marking the third straight month of growth.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.2 percent, while elsewhere in Asia Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 1.5 percent, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7 percent, South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched up less than 1 percent.

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LONDON _ British bank Standard Chartered PLC surprised the market by asking its shareholders for nearly 3.3 billion pounds ($5.2 billion) in a rights issue to satisfy tighter international capital requirements.

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PARIS _ French commuters elbowed their way onto packed subways and buses on day two of an open-ended strike against President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62. The government held firm despite the walkouts.

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HONG KONG _ Hong Kong's leader said the southern Chinese financial hub's economy is expected to grow 5 to 6 percent this year as it completes its recovery from the global financial crisis.

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VIENNA _ OPEC oil ministers gathering for a meeting Thursday are expected to keep output targets unchanged to send a message of stability to energy-hungry economies that are just starting to emerge from recession.

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PARIS _ The International Energy Agency raised its forecast for global oil demand this year and next following new data showing stronger-than-expected economic growth, especially in rich developed economies.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Union said it would examine whether the dominance of four big firms in the auditing of financial results contributed to the credit crisis, and whether that could lead to more trouble.

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LONDON _ Unemployment in Britain for the three months ending in August eased to 7.7 percent, down from 7.8 percent a month ago.

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BUCHAREST, Romania _ Romanian civil servants staged a rowdy spontaneous demonstration at the Finance Ministry, sparking a wave of protests across the country against government wage cuts.

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