A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Mar 26, 2012 3:53 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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BERLIN _ Germany backed down from its resistance to boosting Europe's financial firewalls, after Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she was open to temporarily boosting the eurozone's bailout funds to $930 billion. But the move still falls short of what may be needed to protect the economies of Italy and Spain from collapse.

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BERLIN _ German business confidence rose for the fifth month in a row, a closely watched survey showed, though the road ahead for Europe's biggest economy may become more difficult in light of the ongoing debt crisis in Europe and rising oil prices.

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LONDON _ Markets rose as hopes for an increase in the size of the European bailout funds combined comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to lift investors' moods.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed 0.8 percent higher while Germany's DAX rose 1.2 percent. The CAC-40 in France gained 0.7 percent.

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BEIJING _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose less than 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished unchanged.

Mainland Chinese shares were flat too. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was less than 0.1 percent higher while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index was unchanged.

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FRANKFURT, Germany _ European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said he sees no inflation threat from the bank's more than $1.3 trillion in emergency loans that stabilized the continent's banking system.

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NAIROBI, Kenya _ Kenya's president announced that oil has been discovered in his East African nation for the first time. A foreign oil company said the find is similar to the light crude previously discovered in neighboring Uganda.

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