A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Jul 21, 2011 1:16 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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BRUSSELS _ Eurozone leaders were preparing a radical overhaul of their bailout fund, new loans for Greece and a plan to have banks help ease the country's debt load in a sweeping deal that aims to turn the tide of the crisis, according to a draft statement.

The draft deal, if approved, would for the first time give the currency union tools to intervene pre-emptively and would also make it easier for the other crisis victims, Ireland and Portugal, to stand on their own feet once their programs run out.

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LONDON _ Stocks surged as investors cheered draft details of a new bailout for Greece that will hopefully dramatically reduce its massive debts and prevent other countries such as Italy and Spain from being dragged into the crisis.

The FTSE index of Britain's leading shares closed up 0.8 percent, while France's CAC-40 spiked 1.7 percent. Germany's DAX rallied 1 percent.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up less than 0.1 percent after spending most of the day in negative territory. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down 0.1 percent.

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BEIJING _ China's manufacturing contracted in July for the first time in a year as the government tightened controls to cool rapid economic growth, a closely watched monthly survey showed.

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TOKYO _ The slump in Japan's exports moderated in June in a sign the world's third-largest economy is beginning to mend after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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MADRID _ Investors kept up the pressure on Spain demanding steeper interest rates in two debt auctions and giving a tepid reception to the second Spanish savings group to begin listing its stock.

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MADRID _ Spain's Parliament has given the final vote of approval to a government bill to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greek authorities say striking taxi drivers are disrupting cruise ship arrivals at two major resort islands and blocking highways during the peak of the vital tourist season.

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BEIJING _ China faces risks from inflation and a possible boom and bust in real estate prices and should allow its tightly controlled currency to rise to promote economic stability, the International Monetary Fund said.

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SINGAPORE _ Singapore's central bank has raised its inflation forecast for this year because of higher expected housing and transportation costs. The Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the bank expects an inflation rate between 4 percent and 5 percent, one percentage point higher than its previous forecast.

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SYDNEY _ Australia said Thursday it will crack down on the hiring of illegal workers by imposing heavy fines on employers, saying up to 100,000 foreigners could be working without proper visas.

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