European stocks gained in early trading while Asian markets faltered today as investors looked ahead to U.S. economic data and China's announcement of its annual growth target. China is expected to lower this year's official growth target to 7 percent from last year's 7.5 percent Futures point to opening declines on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $50.50. The dollar rose against the euro and was little changed against the yen.
SHANGHAI (AP) - China is downplaying U.S. concerns that proposed anti-terror legislation would give the government sweeping power to police electronic communications and marginalize foreign companies trying to compete in China's $465 billion technology market. China says the law is purely designed to address domestic security issues. A spokeswoman for China's legislature says the legislation is in line with the kind of access that Western governments have sought.
LONDON (AP) - A closely-watched survey finds that the 19-country eurozone economy grew in February at a seven-month high rate. It's the latest evidence suggesting the region's recovery is gaining momentum. Financial information company Markit says its composite purchasing managers' index rose for the third month running to 53.3 points in February from 52.6 the previous month. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Economists surveyed by The Associated Press no longer see Europe's financial crisis, the U.S. housing market or congressional gridlock as the threats they appeared to be last year. The survey finds that a global economy that many had feared was faltering appears poised for a resurgence on the strength of cheap oil and falling interest rates.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Millions of people may have been left vulnerable to hackers while surfing the web on Apple and Google devices, thanks to a newly discovered security flaw known as "FREAK attack." There's no evidence so far that any hackers have exploited the weakness, which companies are now moving to repair. Researchers blame the problem on an old, abandoned government policy which required U.S. software makers to use weaker security in encryption programs sold overseas.