Stock prices up globally, but on low volume
Stock prices mostly rise on world markets. Germany, France, and several Asian markets see stock prices go up. But markets in US, Britain closed due to holidays.
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While most major economies are expected to keep growing, evidence is mounting that many around the world are struggling to expand as fast as they did last year. European governments are struggling with debts and squeezed budgets. High unemployment, depressed real estate and still-high oil prices are slowing the U.S. economy. In China, interest-rate hikes designed to reduce inflation are slowing growth.
In Europe, tensions are high over Greece's debt load and the lack of political agreement over how to reduce it. The EU has said that a cross-party consensus on new austerity measures is vital for the country to get more help.
Traders remained wary on Monday, despite reports that European officials are preparing new support measures.
Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, a member of the European Central Bank's executive board, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying Greece could get as much as €70 billion more to help its finances through 2013. The help would include larger privatizations but €20 billion could also come from fellow eurozone nations.
The report failed to help the euro much, which hovered at $1.4288, about the same as Friday.
"The trials and tribulations of the eurozone periphery remain the center of attention," wrote Mitul Kotecha, analyst at Credit Agricole CIB, in a note to investors. "Markets will likely remain nervous in this environment, and it is difficult to see risk appetite improving to any major degree."
In stock markets, Germany's DAX edged up 0.4 percent at 7,190.66, while France's CAC 40 was 0.1 percent higher at 3,954.10. British markets were closed for a bank holiday. Wall Street was likewise to remain shut for the Memorial Day holiday.