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December 3, 2008 > A look at economic developments around the world

A look at economic developments around the world

Submitted By The Associated Press

A look at economic developments and stock-market activity around the world Friday:

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MILAN, Italy _ The Italian government announced an 80 billion euros ($103.2 billion) emergency package offering relief to banks, families and companies suffering in the global economic crisis. The package, which is part of a proposed 200 billion euros European Union effort to combat the world economic downturn, includes aid to needy families, public-works projects and mortgage relief.

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LONDON _ Iceland's central bank said it has lifted some of its restrictions on foreign-exchange transactions but added it has also implemented rules curbing cross-border movement of capital. The central bank, Sedlabanki, had modified its currency outflow in the wake of the collapse of Iceland's three major commercial banks and a subsequent plunge in the value of its currency, the krona.

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SAO PAULO, Brazil _ Brazilian stocks made their fifth straight day of gains after a weak start that echoed declines in Europe. The Ibovespa index inched up 1.1 percent to close at 36,596. Mexican stocks also enjoyed a lift, with the IPC index up 1.7 percent to 20,535. Chile's IPSA index opened lower, recovered by a modest 0.1 percent to 2,435, then closed down 1.1 percent to 2,406. Argentina's Merval index rose 2.3 percent to close at 994 after opening 0.7 percent lower at 965. Colombia's principal IGBC index slid 0.8 percent to close at 7,315.

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LONDON _ European stock markets closed higher after the Dow Jones index of leading U.S. shares advanced for the fifth consecutive day in a shortened trading session. Asian markets were higher despite the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 61.91 points, or 1.5 percent, at 4,288.01, while Germany's DAX was 4.17 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 4,669.44. The CAC-40 in France was up 12.29 points, or 0.4 percent, at 3,262.68.

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BANGKOK, Thailand _ Thailand's stock market jumped Friday as investors bet that a resolution may be reached soon in a political crisis that escalated this week with antigovernment protesters shutting down Bangkok's two airports. The benchmark Stock Exchange of Thailand index rose 12.03 points, or 3.1 percent, to close at 401.84 Friday. The index has slumped 54 percent since late May, when antigovernment street protests began in the capital Bangkok.

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MUMBAI, India _ India's stock market gained a day after trading was suspended due to deadly terrorist attacks in the country's financial capital. The Sensex Index climbed 66 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 9,092.72. The benchmark opened down more than 1 percent and then fluctuated in and out of positive territory before finishing higher.

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TOKYO _ Japanese stocks rose amid growing investor optimism that economy-boosting steps by governments around the world would help ward off a deep global recession. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average gained 138.88 points, or 1.66 percent, to 8,512.27. The broader Topix index rose 0.7 percent to 834.82. During the week, the Nikkei index jumped 7.6 percent.

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HONG KONG _ Hong Kong's key stock index advanced for a fourth straight session as investors bet Wall Street will extend gains when trade resumes following the Thanksgiving holiday. The blue chip Hang Seng index rose 336.18 points, or 2.5 percent, to 13,888.24.

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SHANGHAI, China _ China's stocks retreated on profit-taking but ended November with the biggest one-month gain in 15 months on optimism about a multibillion-dollar economic-stimulus package. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.4 percent, or 46.7 points, to close at 1871.16. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second market fell 0.9 percent to 539.37.

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