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Stocks gain...German outlook brightens...SKorea lays out economic plan



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TOKYO (AP) — Share benchmarks rose in Europe early today, buoyed by reports showing an improved economic outlook, as investors awaited a slew of corporate earnings reports. Futures point to some drift as Wall Street opens today. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to just below $47 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.

BERLIN (AP) — A survey shows that business confidence in Germany has risen to another record high as managers' view of both their outlook and their current situation brightens. The Ifo institute says its monthly confidence index was up to 116.0 points for July from 115.2 in June, the previous record. Germany's economy, the largest in the 19-country eurozone, has been growing steadily thanks to exports and strengthening consumer demand amid low unemployment at home.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's new leadership has promised to help many left behind as the country grew prosperous, laying out a new five-year economic plan that promises to boost incomes and improve the country's sagging social safety net. The labor-friendly economic blueprint released by the finance ministry is aimed at addressing mounting concern over growing inequality. It calls for sharply increasing the minimum wage and unemployment benefits and imposing bigger fines for unfair business practices.

SYDNEY (AP) — A Sydney lawyer has announced a class action lawsuit against Toyota, Honda and Mazda seeking refunds for cars fitted with faulty air bags from Takata linked to 18 deaths around the world. Lawyer Damian Scattini says the Federal Court action seeks refunds based on an Australian consumer law that entitles consumers to refunds if a product has a fault that makes it unsafe and the problem cannot be rectified within a reasonable time.

LONDON (AP) — American fashion brand Michael Kors has bought luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo in a deal worth $1.35 billion. Kors says that London-listed Jimmy Choo is "the ideal partner" that will be bolstered with further development of its online presence. Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Dennis will stay in his job. Creative Director Sandra Choi will also stay to lead creative and design teams.

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The Associated Press

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