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The odds now point to a U.S. economic recession that slows global growth significantly even if necessary policy changes are implemented, former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers said.
Asian markets surged to close firmly in the green Monday, with the exception of China's Shanghai Composite index, reversing four straight weeks of losses. Tokyo gained 1.6 percent, but South Korea came out tops with a whopping 4.7 percent advance.
Credit worries and concerns that the economy is slowing are likely to continue sending shock waves into the stock market in the week ahead. But any signs that the holiday shopping season will be stronger than expected could help confidence.
Oil rose above $98 per barrel on Friday, still in sight of the $100 milestone, reflecting moves in the U.S. dollar and amid signs some OPEC members have been raising output ahead of their policy meeting next month.
The euro set a fresh record high against the dollar early Friday, though the $1.50 level remained out of reach when the euro was knocked more than a cent off its peak by comments from a euro zone policymaker.
European Central Bank policymakers said Europe's growth outlook was deteriorating and warned of the risks attached to "brutal" currency movements after the euro hit new highs against the dollar on Friday.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday that U.S. house prices have not bottomed out after a crisis in the subprime mortgage market.
It was a mixed session for Asian stocks on Friday with some markets gaining ground as investors picked up beaten-down shares after a six-session losing streak. But trading was dulled by holidays in Japan and the United States.
Growth in the euro zone's dominant services sector fell more than expected to a 27-month low in November as new orders slipped but manufacturing industry staged an unanticipated rebound, a key survey showed on Friday.
Danes will get a new chance to adopt the euro in a referendum, the prime minister said Thursday.
Singapore's October inflation leapt 3.6 percent from a year ago to a 16-year high, reflecting higher costs for food and transport, data showed on Friday, putting pressure on the central bank to curb rising prices.
The dollar hit new record lows against the euro, the Swiss franc and a basket of currencies on Thursday on growing belief that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.
Oil edged lower to around $97 a barrel on Thursday, after falling just shy of the $100 milestone the previous session, as the market continued to watch the U.S. dollar which tumbled to fresh record lows.
The strength of the euro, at a record high versus the dollar, is becoming a problem for Europe's exporters, the president of the European Commission said on Thursday.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will in a forthcoming visit to China call for an "equitable and fair" relationship between four major currencies -- the dollar, euro, yen and yuan, a senior French official said on Thursday.
German economic growth rebounded in the third quarter, buoyed by domestic demand, but the pace of expansion is probably slowing already as surging oil prices and the strong euro put firms on the defensive.
After a volatile trading session, Asian markets ended mostly lower as caution prevailed amid worries about the health of the U.S. economy -- the region's top export destination.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the number of potential U.S. home-loan defaults "will be significantly bigger" in 2008 than in 2007, the Wall Street Journal's online edition reported.
Oil prices spiked to a record high just shy of $100 a barrel lifting the shares of energy firms, but financial stocks sank Asian markets. Japan closed 2.4 percent lower whilst South Korea shed 3.5 percent.
The mood among consumers hit the skids in November as gasoline prices soared and the housing slump worsened.