AFP World Economic News Summary

The top world economic stories on Tuesday:


LONDON: European stock markets slumped and the euro hit a near two-month dollar low as dealers assessed the fallout of Italy's political impasse after elections in the indebted eurozone country.


BRUSSELS: The EU's executive said it had heard "the message of concern" sent by dissatisfied Italian voters but expected the country nevertheless to stick to its pledges of budget cuts and economic reforms.


TOKYO: Japan's parliament passed a $142 billion extra budget that forms a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to tackle the deflation that has dogged the economy for years.


TOKYO: The Bank of England governor warned that monetary easing was no economic cure-all, while dismissing fears over a global currency war as Tokyo faces criticism about the yen's recent slide.


JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's economy grew at 2.5 percent 2012, according to official data, spelling more modest growth for Africa's largest economy.


BUDAPEST: Hungary's central bank announced a cut in its base rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.25 percent, the seventh consecutive monthly cut and a move widely forecast by analysts.


BERLIN: The German government is prepared to give the go-ahead to the revolutionary oil and gas technique of "fracking" in Germany, but under certain conditions, according to a ministry paper obtained by AFP.


MOSCOW: Russian investigators said they were searching the Moscow offices of the world's largest aluminium producer Rusal as part of a probe into alleged tax violations which the company dismissed as groundless.


PARIS: A trio of French rights and consumer protection organisations said they had filed a legal complaint in a French court against South Korea's Samsung Electronics over working conditions at its plants in China.


KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia, Asia's largest low-cost carrier by fleet size, said that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 168 percent year-on-year amid increased passengers.