A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 1:26 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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ATHENS, Greece _ Unemployment in Greece has hit 15 percent, amid deepening cutbacks in the crisis-hit country.

The Greek Statistics Authority said that the jobless rate in January reached 15.1 percent, from 14.8 the previous month. The total number of Greeks out of work was recorded at 756,795.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greek borrowing costs spiked sharply higher as investors fretted over whether the crisis-hit country will have to restructure its massive debt at a time when unemployment is running at over 15 percent.

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LONDON _ Global stocks mostly fell on investor concerns that rising inflation could push central banks to hike interest rates sooner than expected. Renewed jitters over a debt restructuring in Greece added to the downbeat tone.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 1 percent while Germany's DAX fell 0.8 percent. The CAC-40 in France dropped 1.2 percent to 3,957.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.3 percent lower on concerns of further interest rate increases following Friday's inflation data.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was flat at 9,650.43 and South Korea's Kospi was up 0.7 percent to 2,136.61. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.5 percent to 24,025.30.

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MADRID _ The Spanish government said a communication error led it to claim China's sovereign wealth fund was studying a plan to inject 9.3 billion euros ($13.5 billion) into Spain's ailing savings bank sector.

A spokesman said Thursday that China was committed to buying Spanish debt and investing in the restructuring of the banks, but that it was too early to talk of concrete amounts or which funds would be involved.

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BERLIN _ Germany is raising its forecast for growth this year as its recovery from the recession rolls ahead.

The country's Economy Ministry forecast growth of 2.6 percent this year, raising its prediction from 2.3 percent.

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BEIJING _ China's foreign reserves have surged past $3 trillion, driven by exchange rate controls that Washington and other governments say distort trade and are hampering a global recovery.

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SANYA, China _ Leaders of the world's largest emerging economies said they supported tougher measures to guard against financial instability and backed a look at alternatives to the U.S. dollar as the world's main reserve currency.

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SINGAPORE _ Singapore will allow its currency to strengthen in a bid to ease inflationary pressures sparked by robust economic growth and rising energy and food costs, the central bank said.

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