A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 6:46 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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BERLIN _ German business and consumer confidence ended 2011 on a high note despite ongoing fears about the European economy, two closely watched surveys showed.

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MADRID _ Spain's borrowing costs plummeted in a short-term debt auction, indicating market confidence in the country's ability to handle its debt is recovering as conservative Mariano Rajoy prepared to take over as the new prime minister.

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LONDON _ European and U.S. markets rallied as encouraging economic indicators from Germany and the U.S. gave some relief from overhanging fears of Europe's troubles.

Germany's DAX closed 3.1 percent higher while France's CAC 40 index gained 2.4 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies rose 1 percent.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, South Korea's Kospi led regional gains, rising 0.9 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.5 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up less than 0.1 percent. In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.1 percent, and the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.4 percent.

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LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal's finance minister says his debt-stressed country's budget deficit will likely fall to below 5 percent this year from 9.8 percent in 2010.

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ATHENS, Greece _ An official in Greece's coalition government says negotiations with banks for a massive bond swap deal are "going well" and a framework agreement is expected in early January.

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HELSINKI _ Finland could hit recession early next year, the Finance Ministry said, as it slashed forecasts for economic growth in 2012 to 0.4 percent from an earlier predicted 1.8 percent.

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OTTAWA _ Canada's annual inflation rate remained relatively high at 2.9 per cent last month as Canadians continued to pay considerably more for food and gasoline.

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WARSAW, Poland _ Moody's rating agency has kept its credit rating stable for Poland, citing the country's "remarkable resilience" during the last global credit crisis and its strong economic growth.

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TEHRAN, Iran _ The Iranian president says his administration will do everything it can to save the national currency from plunging further out of control.

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