A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: May 25, 2012 5:30 PM
A look at economic developments around the globe

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

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MADRID _ The board of directors of Spain's troubled bank, Bankia, has asked the Spanish government for $23.8 billion in financial support.

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ATHENS, Greece _ A left-wing party that opposes Greece's international bailout agreements has extended its lead ahead of next month's election, according to a new poll.

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LONDON _ Concerns that Europe lacks a concrete plan to keep Greece in the currency union pushed markets lower, with the euro nearing a 22-month low.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.03 percent, while Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent. France's CAC-40 rose 0.3 percent.

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TOKYO _ In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent.

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FRANKFURT, Germany _ A top European Central Bank official says the 17 countries that use the euro need an "urgent overhaul" of their banking and financial system to deal with the debt crisis, including a multinational authority with the power to restructure and bail out banks.

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LISBON, Portugal _ Portugal's Parliament has endorsed a four-year budget plan that places legal limits on state spending in an effort to restore the bailed-out country's fiscal health.

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WASHINGTON _ The U.S. government said that China has made progress in allowing its currency to rise against the dollar and declined to accuse the nation of manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage.

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BRUSSELS _ The European Union started legal proceedings at the World Trade Organization against Argentina, claiming the South American country stifles imports to protect its own industry.

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GENEVA _ China filed World Trade Organization cases challenging U.S. anti-subsidy tariffs on 22 Chinese goods including steel, widening a conflict between the two giant trading partners.

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TAIPEI, Taiwan _ Taiwan's government has lowered its economic growth forecast for 2012 to 3 percent from 3.4 percent as demand fades for the island's mainstay electronic exports.