A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2011 1:08 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal's financial tailspin gathered speed despite political efforts to contain the acute debt crisis that is also unnerving the 17-nation eurozone.

The interest rate on Portugal's 10-year bond surged to a new euro-era record of 7.9 percent _ an unsustainable borrowing cost for the cash-strapped country.

Also, ratings agency Standard & Poor's lowered the credit worthiness of the five biggest Portuguese banks and warned it may cut the country's credit rating later this week due to political uncertainty after the government resigned last week. That development compounded Portugal's already daunting problems.

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TOKYO _ Workers discovered new pools of radioactive water leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex, officials said, as emergency crews struggled to pump out hundreds of tons of contaminated water and bring the plant back under control.

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LONDON _ In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent at 6,954 while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.3 percent to 3,982. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was trading 0.2 percent higher at 5,914.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 0.6 percent to 9,478.53, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.4 percent to 23,068.19. Shanghai's Composite index eked out a 0.2 percent gain to 2,984.

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CANBERRA, Australia _ Australia's parliament endorsed the government's contentious plan to roll out a 36 billion Australian dollar ($37 billion) fiber optic national broadband network that will be among the world's fastest.

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BEIJING _ A government official announced that China aims to reduce energy use and carbon emissions per unit of economic output this year by 4 percent, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

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BAGHDAD _ Joined by dozens of businessmen, Turkey's prime minister led trade talks with Iraqi leaders that officials said would be a step toward greater regional stability as the Middle East roils from uprisings and unrest.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus _ Cyprus' Central Bank governor says a proposed bank stability fund needs at least 500 million euros ($700 million), or 3 percent of the island's GDP, to sufficiently backstop the financial sector in case it runs into trouble.

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