A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2012 3:59 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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FRANKFURT, Germany _ European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said it was premature to talk about withdrawing the bank's massive emergency loans to banks given slack economic conditions and record high levels of unemployment across the 17-country eurozone.

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ROME _ Italy's government expects quick parliamentary approval of its key labor market reforms after the plan was backed by parties across the political spectrum.

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MADRID _ Spain's latest effort to bring its public finances under control failed to reassure investors and the country's borrowing costs rose sharply in the secondary bond markets.

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LONDON _ Stocks around the world took a pounding as investors pared back any remaining expectations that the Federal Reserve would pump more money into the U.S. economy.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 2.3 percent while Germany's DAX fell 2.8 percent. The CAC-40 in France was 2.7 percent lower.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, stocks also faltered. Japan's Nikkei 225 index plunged 2.3 percent, its lowest close in nearly a month, while South Korea's Kospi tumbled 1.5 percent. Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for public holidays.

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BERLIN _ Official data show that German industrial orders were up a modest 0.3 percent in February, helped by rising demand from outside Europe.

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LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal raised $2 billion in a pair of debt auctions at a manageable cost, in a further sign the country is recouping investor confidence through a bailout program of spending cuts and economic reforms.

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WARSAW, Poland _ Poland's central bank says it has left its main interest rate at 4.5 percent at a time when the country's fast-growing economy appears to be slowing.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia _ Indonesia's budget deficit may top 3 percent _ the threshold set by law _ if there is no fuel price hike this year, the World Bank said.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus _ Electricity supply was restored in Cyprus after the island woke up without power when a problem at one of the country's power plants caused the entire grid to shut down.