Dubai Worries Continue; More People, Less Money On Black Friday

Dubai's stock market slumped the most in over a year Monday amid continued concerns about the city-state's credit worthiness after one of its flagship companies asked for a six-month delay in paying creditors on nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars in debt. The company invested in lavish real estate projects, including artificial islands in the shape of a palm tree, and spent heavily to acquire stakes in high-profile global assets.

While oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi said it would offer support to Dubai firms on a case by case basis, the shockwaves from the crisis were enough to keep investors skittish after a modest bounce on Friday.

Dubai's main index of stocks closed 7.3 percent lower at 1940 Monday, while Abu Dhabi plunged 8.3 percent to 2668.

More Americans hit the stores during Black Friday and the rest of the holiday-shopping weekend, but they spent less than they did last year, a retail-trade group said Sunday.

The National Retail Federation's survey, conducted over the weekend, found that 195 million shoppers visited stores and Web sites, up from 172 million last year. Shoppers spent an average of $343, down from about $373 a year ago. For the weekend, the total spent was $41.2 billion.

And India's economy continued its rapid expansion in the latest quarter, beating economists' expectations on higher domestic demand, according to data released Monday. The nation's gross domestic product was 7.9 percent higher than a year earlier.

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