A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Jan 11, 2012 5:05 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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BERLIN _ Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti threw his support behind a new tax on financial transactions, backing a push by Germany and France, but said he would prefer to have it apply across the whole European Union.

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BERLIN _ Germany's economy slipped into reverse in the last quarter of 2011 despite posting strong growth of 3 percent for the full year, the country's Federal Statistics Office said.

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LONDON _ The rally in stock markets stalled, as hopes of a recovery in the U.S. economy were offset by concerns that Germany was heading back into recession.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed down 0.5 percent while Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent. The CAC-40 in France ended 0.2 percent lower.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, financial markets closed mostly higher on expectations that China will tweak its monetary policy to encourage growth, but in a limited way to keep its already sizzling property market under control.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.8 percent.

However, mainland Chinese shares edged lower as traders booked profits following two days of sharp gains. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent while the Shenzhen Composite Index was marginally lower.

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BEIJING _ U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese leaders pledged to build economic ties but Beijing gave no sign it would relent in its opposition to American sanctions on Iran's oil industry.

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MADRID _ Spain's Parliament approved the new conservative government's first austerity measures, which aim to rein in the country's swollen deficit with $11.5 billion in spending cuts.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Union stepped up pressure on Hungary, saying its fiscal policies were unsustainable and threatening legal action over a new constitution that some fear could push the country back into authoritarianism.

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PARIS _ French government ministers led the country's semiannual consumer pilgrimage known as "The Sales," hoping to jump-start a stagnant economy.

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LAGONISSI, Greece _ Debt-crippled Greece's budget deficit is expected to hit 9.6 percent of economic output in 2011, about half a percentage point above target, the development minister acknowledged.

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