A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: May 10, 2012 5:00 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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MADRID _ The Spanish government's decision to take control of the country's fourth-largest bank highlights the problem gripping the nation's financial system. Banks are taking huge losses on real estate loans that have soured, but the deeper the government gets involved in providing aid, the greater the risk it will need an international bailout.

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LONDON _ The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed 0.3 percent higher while Germany's DAX rose 0.7 percent. The CAC-40 in France ended 0.4 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.4 percent and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 20,227.28.

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BERLIN _ German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave little ground to those hoping she would temper her demands for austerity, telling the country's parliament that the only way Europe can recover from its debt crisis is if it perseveres with structural reforms alongside tough measures to bring borrowing levels down.

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LONDON _ The Bank of England kept its base interest rate at the all-time low of 0.5 percent and did not approve any additional monetary stimulus, despite Britain's fall back into recession, likely due to concerns over inflation.

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ATHENS, Greece _ Greece's unemployment rate rose to 21.7 percent in February, after 336,500 people lost their jobs in the past year.

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CAIRO _ Saudi Arabia signed a series of deals with Cairo aimed at helping to stabilize Egypt's struggling economy, just days after a diplomatic tiff between the two was healed.

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