A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Tuesday:
BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece's government deficit was significantly bigger than forecast last year, European Union data showed, underlining the difficulties the debt-ridden country is having to get its finances under control.
Greece's deficit hit 10.5 percent of economic output in 2010, well above the 9.6 percent the European Commission, the EU's executive, predicted last fall.
LONDON (AP) — European and U.S. stocks rose on strong corporate earnings from companies like UBS, Ford and 3M, and as investors shrugged at the latest bad budget news from crisis-stricken Greece.
After being closed since Thursday for Easter, Germany's DAX closed up 0.8 percent. The FTSE 100 index in London was up 0.8 percent, while France's CAC-40 was up 0.6 percent at 4,046.54.
TOKYO (AP) — In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 1.1 percent. South Korea's Kospi was down 0.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.1 percent.
Mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines were also down.
MADRID (AP) — Spain had to pay higher interest rates to raise 2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in an auction of 3- and 6-month bills, though investors were encouraged somewhat by the latest government deficit figures.
HONG KONG (AP) — World food prices that surged 30 percent in the first two months of the year threaten to push millions of Asians into extreme poverty and cut economic growth, the Asian Development Bank said.
The surging prices translated into domestic food inflation of 10 percent on average in many Asian economies, which could drive 64 million people into poverty, the bank said in a report, adding that it will also erode the living standards of families already living in poverty.
BEIJING (AP) — Australia and China signed a series of cooperation agreements at the start of a visit by Prime Minister Julia Gillard intended to strengthen ties and smooth over recent spats with her country's top export market.
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