Entries in Euro-Zone (4)


Markets Cautious Ahead of Euro Zone Meeting

Ben Hider/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the countdown for a solution to Europe's debt crisis winds down, markets are trading with caution on Tuesday.

Wall Street is poised for a slow start with stock futures slightly down ahead of the opening bell.  The day before, the stock market continued its positive streak in October, posting gains across the board.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 105 points on Monday, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 climbed 62 points and 16 points, respectively.

Over in Europe, stocks are also shaky, trading flat on Tuesday.  Investors there are anxiously awaiting a meeting of euro zone leaders on Wednesday when a bailout package for the region is expected to be announced.

The anticipation also drove Asian stocks to end the day mixed.  China's Shanghai Composite rose 1.66 percent on Tuesday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.05 percent.  Japan's Nikkei index, on the other hand, dropped 0.92 percent.  Australia’s S&P/200 and South Korea’s Kospi saw losses as well, falling 0.64 percent and 0.51 percent, respectively.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Moody's Knocks Down Portugal's Credit Rating to 'Junk'

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- On Tuesday, Moody's downgraded Portugal's debt rating to "junk" status, setting the stage for a poor opening of the U.S. Stock market on Wednesday.

Moody's cut the economically troubled Iberian nation's long-term debt rating down four steps from Baa1 to Ba2, which is considered junk. Portugal's short-term debt rating was also knocked down from prime-2 to not-prime.

The news has electrified financial markets, and is expected to cast further speculation over the EU's ability to salvage Euro-Zone economies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Eurozone Approves $113 Billion Bailout for Ireland

Photo Courtesy - PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images(BRUSSELS, Belgium) -- The European Union on Sunday approved an 85 billion euro or $113 billion dollar deal to help stave off an economic meltdown for Ireland.  The money will come from the International Monetary Fund, the 16 nations within the Eurozone and the European Commission. 

Ireland will be allowed to take money from its pension funds to make up its part of the EU commitment.  That had been against Eurozone rules. The EU has also agreed to set up a system by which a country deemed insolvent can restructure its debt. 

Ireland will have up to seven and a half years to pay back its loans -- longer than the three years allowed to Greece in its bailout deal arranged last May.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Portugal Adopts Draconian Budget Cuts, Tries to Avoid Bailout

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LISBON, Portugal) -- Portugal tried desperately Friday to avoid following Ireland in requiring a financial bailout, adopting a budget designed to slash its deepening deficit and prevent fiscal meltdown.  The Portuguese parliament adopted the 2011 plan lawmakers hope will reduce its deficit from 7.3 percent of this year's annual output to 4.6 percent next year. 

Portugal's Finance Minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, told lawmakers the entire euro zone faces a big challenge.  "The attack of the markets on sovereign debt, in particular against so-called peripheral countries, is a test of the willpower and the capacity of the countries targeted, but above all the euro zone to face up to the crisis."

The budget would save five billion euros, or nearly $7 billion, through tax hikes and spending cuts.  Among the targeted spending, wages of public workers.  That prompted a massive general strike on Wednesday.

Portuguese officials and leaders from other countries deny there is specific pressure on Portugal to accept the same kind of "bailout" Ireland requested just days ago from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.  Experts suggest that if Portugal did ask for help, it would ease the financial pressure on other countries, such as Spain, and perhaps keep the euro zone debt crisis from spiralling further out of control.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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