A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Jan 27, 2012 4:42 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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MADRID _ Spain's brutal unemployment rate soared to nearly 23 percent and closed in on 50 percent for those under age 25, leaving more than five million people _ or almost one of every four _ out of work as the country slides toward recession.

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FRANKFURT, Germany _ U.S. ratings agency Fitch says it is downgrading the credit ratings of five countries that use the euro, including economic heavyweights Italy and Spain.

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LONDON _ World stocks turned lower after official data showed the U.S. economic recovery was not as fast as many had hoped.

Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1 percent while Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent and France's CAC-40 lost 1.2 percent.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1 percent while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greece was locked in a twin effort to placate its creditors, seeking to secure a crucial debt relief deal with private investors while tackling pressing demands from its European partners and the IMF for deeper reforms.

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ROME _ Italy easily raised $14.46 billion in a pair of bond auctions, as its borrowing rates fell for the second day in a row.

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BERLIN _Nearly three-quarters of Germans oppose putting more money into the eurozone's rescue fund, according to a new poll.

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WARSAW, Poland _ Despite the European debt crisis, Poland's economy grew at a brisk 4.3 percent rate last year, topping its strong 3.9 percent growth in 2010.