A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Apr 25, 2011 12:36 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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TOKYO _ Rising oil prices and anticipation that China might tighten monetary policy yet again to combat inflation kept Asian stock markets in check.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed 0.1 percent lower, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.5 percent but South Korea's Kospi rose 0.8 percent.

Markets in Australia, Hong Kong and Europe remained closed for the Easter holiday.

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TOKYO _ Toyota's car production in Japan plummeted a staggering 62.7 percent in March due to a parts supply crunch following a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top-selling automaker last year, said its domestic production in March was 129,491 vehicles, the lowest level since 1976 when Toyota began maintaining production figures.

Honda Motor Co. said its domestic production in March plunged 62.9 percent to 34,754 vehicles. Nissan Motor Co. said its production in Japan dropped 52.4 percent to 47,590 vehicles.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11 destroyed many factories in northeastern Japan, causing severe parts shortages for Toyota and other automakers.

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MADRID _ Tourist numbers for economically ailing Spain rose 2.9 percent in the first quarter, with 9 million visitors from abroad.

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BAGHDAD _ Iraq will auction off 12 mainly gas exploration blocs during a January 2012 bidding round as the country pushes ahead with efforts to beef up its energy sector, the oil minister said.

The January auction will be Iraq's fourth bidding round on its energy assets since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The country's oil and gas sector is struggling to overcome years of neglect and violence by seeking international investment to exploit its below-ground riches.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates _ Emirati authorities seeking greater control over smartphone data are pushing ahead with plans to impose tighter restrictions on the most tough-to-monitor BlackBerry service next week, according to a senior telecom executive.

The proposed new rules, outlined earlier this month, have renewed questions about how far the United Arab Emirates is willing to go in allowing highly secure communications within its borders.