A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Apr 25, 2012 5:27 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 _ Germany's government reaffirmed its growth forecast of 0.7 percent this year despite the turmoil of the European debt crisis, adding that the country's economy would run ahead of its 16 partners in the eurozone.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Commission, the executive body of the 27-country European Union, is seeking an increase in its budget at a time when the region's financial crisis is forcing member states to tighten their belts and cut costs.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greece has completed a massive bond exchange designed to more than halve its privately held debt, with 96.9 percent of eligible investors participating in the swap.

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LONDON _ Global stocks rose after earnings from Apple Inc. and other U.S. companies easily beat expectations, providing investors with a distraction from the economic and political turbulence in Europe.

Germany's DAX was up 1.7 percent at while the CAC-40 in France rose 2.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.2 percent.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent.

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FRANKFURT, Germany _ European banks, flush with cheap credit from the European Central Bank, are making it easier for consumers and companies to get loans _ but demand for credit remains very low due to worries over the region's economic prospects.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Union said that it is ready to start talks with Hungary over a financial aid package after the country promised to restore the independence of its central bank.

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WARSAW, Poland _ Poland's unemployment rate dropped slightly to 13.3 percent in March, from 13.5 percent the month before, government statistics showed.

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MUMBAI, India _ Standard & Poor's says India's worsening deficits and diminishing growth prospects could lead to a downgrade of Asia's third-largest economy.

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