A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Oct 19, 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 Wednesday:

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PARIS _ The leaders of Germany, France, the IMF and European Central Bank are meeting Wednesday night, to prepare for a crucial European summit that markets hope will produce a comprehensive solution to the deepening euro debt crisis and save the 17-nation euro currency.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greek anger over new austerity measures and layoffs erupted into violence outside parliament, as demonstrators hurled chunks of marble and gasoline bombs at riot police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

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LONDON _ Hopes that Europe is close to agreeing a package of measures to deal with its debt crisis supported market sentiment, though fears of disappointment kept the gains in check.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.5 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.9 percent.

However, mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3 percent. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.6 percent to 1,004.20.

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LONDON _ Bank of England rate-setters voted unanimously this month to inject more money into the struggling British economy, marking a sharp turnaround in sentiment.

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FRANKFURT, Germany _ Outgoing European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said the eurozone's debt crisis requires "immediate action" in coming days and defended the euro as a bulwark against inflation that benefits average people.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Union's executive body said that it wants to spend some $70 billion over the next decade on transportation, energy and telecommunications projects to better link its member states across national borders.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Union's competition watchdog said it conducted unannounced inspections at several banks amid suspicions they may have colluded to manipulate euro interest-rate derivatives.

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LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal raised $2.07 billion in a debt auction with near-flat interest rates as investors took heart from the government's latest spending cuts.

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GENEVA _ The U.N. labor office says a dip in youth unemployment indicates that young people in the developed world are "hiding" from the jobs market by going back into education or staying at home with their parents.

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SEOUL, South Korea _ The leaders of South Korea and Japan agreed to expand the size of a currency swap deal and push to resume stalled free trade negotiations, as Tokyo returned looted Korean royal documents in a goodwill gesture.