A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 26, 2012 4:19 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

___

BERLIN _ Germany will be flexible in considering how existing European Union funds can be used to stoke growth, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, as she praised Spain's efforts to cut its budget deficit and tackle sky-high unemployment.

___

LONDON _ World stock markets rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low until late 2014 to nurture the country's stubbornly slow economic recovery.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.3 percent, Germany's DAX gained 1.8 percent and France's CAC-40 added 1.5 percent.

___

TOKYO _ In Asia, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.6 percent. Benchmarks in Thailand and Singapore also rose.

Japan's Nikkei was down 0.4 percent as a weakening dollar pressured the country's exporters. Benchmarks in Malaysia and the Philippines also fell.

___

BERLIN _ A survey shows that consumer confidence in Germany is improving as Germans take a more optimistic view of the country's economic outlook.

___

ATHENS, Greece _ Greece's prime minister resumed talks with top bank negotiators to try to overcome obstacles to a major debt-relief deal needed to avoid bankruptcy.

___

MILAN _ Italy easily raised $6.47 billion in a pair of bond auctions that saw a sharp drop in borrowing rates, a sign that investor confidence in the country is improving.

___

MADRID _ Spain's unemployment rate jumped to nearly 24 percent in the fourth quarter, Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said, confirming that the country is still in the throes of a long and painful economic crisis.

___

BRASILIA, Brazil _ Brazil is reporting that unemployment for the past year was 6 percent. That's the lowest rate since officials began using the current formula for calculating joblessness in 2002.

___

SEOUL, South Korea _ South Korea's economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter last year as manufacturing waned amid weak overseas demand.

___