A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2011 1:52 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal's president sought to broker a deal between rival parties to give the debt-stressed country a new government as it is engulfed by a financial crisis and edges toward an unwanted bailout

President Anibal Cavaco Silva, largely a figurehead, was asking parties during a series of meetings whether they would voluntarily form a coalition government _ which would remove the need for an early election _ or if they preferred a ballot.

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LONDON _ Markets brushed off concerns over the financial future of Portugal as EU leaders signed off on a package of measures designed to deal with a government debt crisis that has already seen Greece and Ireland get bailed out.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.1 percent at 5,884 while Germany's DAX was more or less unchanged at 6,934. The CAC-40 in France was 0.1 percent higher at 3,971.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, the Nikkei 225 closed up 1.1 percent to 9,536.13 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent to 23,158.67 and South Korea's Kospi ended 0.9 percent higher to 2,054.04.

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BERLIN _ German business confidence has slipped off a two-decade high as managers' outlook for the next six months was tempered by a slight decline in optimism on exports, a closely watched survey showed.

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TOKYO _ Two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at a nuclear plant, the facility is still not under control, and the government said there is a suspected breach at a reactor. That means radioactive contamination at the plant is more serious than once thought.

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TOKYO _ An immigration official says more than 161,000 foreigners have left Japan since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered an unfolding nuclear crisis.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia _ Malaysia's auto sales are on track to grow 2 percent to a record 618,000 vehicles this year, although production could be disrupted in coming months by parts shortages following Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

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TOKYO _ Japan's core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier. Japan has battled persistent deflation, and the latest fall in prices underlines prolonged deflationary pressure on the world's No. 3 economy.

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