A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: May 24, 2012 6:15 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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ATHENS, Greece _ European leaders insist they want to keep Greece in the eurozone, but are putting off any agreement on how they hope to accomplish that. Greece says it, too, wants to stay in the eurozone, but until after elections it's uncertain whether it can implement the austerity that Europe has set as a condition for doing so.

Both are playing for time. The question is whether financial markets will wait or force their hand.

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LONDON _ European stocks recovered from heavy losses the previous day, while the euro remained near a 22-month low after the continent's leaders failed to reach a breakthrough in their crisis resolution efforts.

Germany's DAX was up 0.5 percent. The CAC-40 in France rose 1.2 percent while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 1.6 percent higher.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was almost unchanged. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent. South Korea's Kospi closed up 0.3 percent.

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BERLIN _ German business confidence dropped sharply in May, a closely-watched survey showed, as anxiety grows in Europe's largest economy over the increasing financial turmoil in the 17-country eurozone.

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LONDON _ Britain's economy contracted more than first estimated, shrinking by 0.3 percent in the first quarter from the previous three month period. A decline of 0.2 percent was previously reported.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand _ New Zealand's center-right government unveiled a relatively austere budget, saying it will tackle rising debt and return the country's books to the black in two years.

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