The Associated Press

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

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CAIRO â¿¿ The announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned offered new hope for a rebound in waning investor confidence in the country, with the cost of insuring Egypt's sovereign debt retreating sharply. But analysts and economists cautioned that other question remained, such as the pace of reform and what role the military would play.

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LONDON â¿¿ Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to hand power to the military boosted stocks around the world as hopes grew for a peaceful transition of power.

In Europe, Germany's DAX traded up 0.4 percent, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares gained 0.7 percent and the CAC-40 in Paris was 0.2 percent higher.

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BERLIN â¿¿ The head of Germany's Bundesbank, who was long a favorite to become the European Central Bank's next president, is stepping down a year early for personal reasons, the government said.

The government announced Axel Weber's decision to quit on April 30 after the Bundesbank president met behind closed doors with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, following days of confusion over his future.

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TOKYO â¿¿ Earlier in Asia, shares were mixed. South Korea's Kospi slid 1.6 percent after the country's central bank suggested it will raise rates in coming months. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 let go of the previous day's gains, dropping 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent and China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent.

Japan's markets were closed for a public holiday.

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BRUSSELS â¿¿ The respite financial markets gave European finance ministers over recent weeks appears to have ended as they chart their next moves to tackle the debt crisis that has rocked the region over the past year.

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