A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Jan 03, 2012 4:46 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 _ Germany's jobless rate edged higher in December, but the overall picture in Europe's biggest economy remained positive as the average number of people unemployed last year was the lowest for two decades, official figures showed.

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LONDON _ Global stock markets were buoyed by a run of solid economic news, notably out of the U.S., which helped keep concerns about the European debt crisis at bay.

In Europe, Germany's DAX closed up 1.5 percent while the CAC-40 in France brushed off earlier losses to end 0.7 percent higher. Britain's FTSE 100 index of leading British shares, which was closed Monday when many markets got off to a flying start to the year, closed 2.3 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 2.4 percent on its first trading session of 2012. South Korea's Kospi index rose 2.7 percent. Benchmarks in Japan and mainland China remained closed for the extended New Year's holiday.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greece's government warned that the debt-crippled country will have to ditch the euro if it fails to finalize a second, $169 billion international bailout.

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MADRID _ The number of people in Spain filing for unemployment benefits hit a 15-year high in December. The Labor Ministry said that 4.42 million people are now out of work and receiving benefits.

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AMSTERDAM _ The Dutch government's borrowing rates fell to near zero percent in a pair of short-term auctions, a sign that investors are searching out what they consider to be Europe's safer assets at a time of concern over the level of debt in a number of countries.

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VILNIUS, Lithuania _ A top Lithuanian government official says the Baltic state will do everything possible to join the eurozone in 2014 despite skepticism expressed by the country's president.

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TEHRAN, Iran _ Iran said that the steep depreciation in the country's currency against the U.S. dollar was not linked to new U.S. sanctions targeting its central bank. Officials geared up for a meeting to assess possible measures to shore up the riyal in Iran's already ailing economy.

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SINGAPORE _ Singapore's economy contracted in the fourth quarter as manufacturing plunged amid a slowdown in global trade, the government said.

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LAGOS, Nigeria _ An angry mob protesting spiraling fuel prices assaulted a soldier while police shot another man at the demonstration, a sign of growing unrest over the government's widely unpopular decision to end a subsidy program that had kept gasoline costs low for more than two decades.

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