RBS NEWS: Asia stocks fall as Europe debt crisis festers

Asian stocks fell Wednesday after a meeting of Europe's finance ministers failed to stem fears that the euro currency union is hurtling toward a breakup..

RBS NEWS: American Airlines files for bankruptcy protection

The parent company of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, seeking relief from crushing debt caused by high fuel prices and expensive..

RBS NEWS: Greece gets $10.7 billion but rescue plan stalls

Eurozone ministers finally handed Greece an euro8 billion ($10.7 billion) rescue loan to fend off its immediate cash crisis yet failed to resolve overall fears..

RBS NEWS: $4.8 billion Peru gold mine project suspended

A $4.8 billion gold and copper mining project, Peru's biggest such investment, was declared suspended Tuesday after increasingly violent protests..

RBS NEWS: Huge oil discovery boosts Argentina's potential

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - A huge oil discovery by the Spanish company Repsol has sharply boosted Argentina's potential to cash in on energy..

RBS NEWS: $4.8 billion Peru gold mine project suspended



A $4.8 billion gold and copper mining project, Peru's biggest such investment, was declared suspended Tuesday after increasingly violent protests by highlands peasants who fear for their water supply.

At least 20 people, including eight with gunshot wounds, were injured Tuesday in clashes between opponents of the Conga project and police who used firearms, Cajamarca state regional health director Reynaldo Nunez told Canal N television. He said one person was in critical condition and the injured included police.

"After discussions with the government, it was agreed that to help restore public order, the project would be suspended," Newmont Mining Corp. spokesman Omar Jabara told The Associated Press via email.

Denver-based Newmont is the majority owner of Conga, which was to begin production in 2015 and is an outgrowth of Yanacocha, Latin America's biggest gold mine.

However, leaders of the open-ended protest against the planned mine that began Thursday in the northern state bordering Ecuador said they would not halt the action until the project is canceled.

Cajamarca's president, Gregorio Santos, told the AP that opponents want "a legal document that definitively eliminates" the project.

At a Lima news conference, Prime Minister Salomon Lerner did not answer a reporter's question of whether the suspension was temporary or definitive.

The protests have been increasingly violent, including vandalism on the mine's property.

The Yanacocha consortium, which includes the Peruvian company Buenaventura Mining Co. and the International Finance Corporation, said in a statement that the suspension was "required" by the government "for the sake of re-establishing tranquility and social peace."

Lerner, appearing at a the news conference with Newmont Vice President Carlos Santa Cruz, said the government was forging "a new relation between communities and mining, a relation that was historically marked by mistrust."

That includes, Lerner said, involving the local populace in decisions involving mines to "dispel all doubts and guarantee, as a priority, water for human consumption."

Local protest leader Milton Sanchez was not appeased.

"We regret that the government's reaction came after the spilling of blood in which today we have 17 wounded," he told the AP by phone. "We peasants of Cajamarca feel tremendously defrauded by (President) Ollanta Humala and really consider him a traitor."

Humala, a center-leftist, had told Cajamarca residents before his June election that he would guarantee their water supply was more important to him than gold.

Before the suspension announcement, government officials continued to insist the protests did not enjoy widespread support.

"We regret the intransigence of the leaders who do not want to engage in dialogue," Interior Minister Oscar Valdes told reporters. "We regret that they are against their own population, children who aren't going to school, dairy farmers who are losing their milk."

Cajamarca is one the most heavily mined states in Peru, whose economy has been booming due high metal prices. Mining accounts for 61 percent of the South American nation's exports.

But peasants who live near mines complain that the government does little to ensure they don't contaminate or diminish water supplies.

Across Peru, there are currently more than 60 disputes over alleged damage to water supplies from mines, the country's ombudsman's office says.

An 11-page Environment Ministry study of the Conga project completed last week urges modifications to ensure water sources are protected, especially regarding the replacement of four highlands lakes by man-made reservoirs.

Local residents fear the displacement of those lakes could dry up an important aquifer. The project is located more than two miles (3,500 meters) above sea level, above the headwaters of two rivers.

Environment Minister Ricardo Giesecke said after the study was leaked Friday that its conclusions did not amount to a rejection of the mine but rather guidelines for improving it.

That only further angered protesters and a deputy environment minister quit over the government's handling of the protests.

The Mining Ministry approved the project in October 2010 and by law judges the environmental soundness of mining projects.

Environmental activists contend the ministry is heavily influenced by the industry and biased against environmental protection.

More than $40 billion in mining investments were lined up before Humala's June election, and the mining industry agreed at his urging to a windfall tax to pay for social welfare programs that the government says will net $1 billion a year in revenues.

___

Associated Press writer Frank Bajak reported this story from Bogota, Colombia, and Carla Salazar reported in Lima. AP writers Franklin Briceno and Martin Villena in Lima contributed to this report.

RBS NEWS: Greece gets $10.7 billion but rescue plan stalls



Eurozone ministers finally handed Greece an euro8 billion ($10.7 billion) rescue loan to fend off its immediate cash crisis yet failed to resolve overall fears about the viability of the euro.

Stock markets had risen hoping that intense bond market pressure would finally force the 17-nation eurozone into quicker and more robust action - but that was not to be.

Even as Italy's borrowing costs skyrocketed to a euro-era record, the finance ministers failed to increase the European bailout fund to match earlier predictions and kicked other major financial issues - like a closer fiscal union - over to their bosses, the EU leaders meeting next week in Brussels.

The ministers did agree to use the fund to offer financial protection of 20 to 30 percent to investors who bought new bonds from troubled eurozone nations.

"We made important progress on a number of fronts," Jean-Claude Juncker, the eurozone chief, insisted late Tuesday. "This shows our complete determination to do whatever it takes to safeguard the financial stability of the euro."

The EU's monetary chief Olli Rehn said eurozone nations needed to work on many financial issues at once to ease global pressure on their currency.

"There is no one single silver bullet that will get us out of this crisis," Rehn told reporters.

But the question of how to beef up the leverage capacity of the European Financial Stability Facility from its current euro440 billion ($587 billion) to a hoped-for euro1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) was not resolved. The fund is supposed to be a firewall that protects European nations from the financial chaos of their neighbors.

Fund chief Klaus Regling refused to give a specific size for the fund after Tuesday's meeting, but assured reporters it was more than big enough to deal with Europe's immediate debt problems.

"To be clear, we do not expect investors to commit large amounts of money during the next few days or weeks," Regling said. "Leverage is a process over time."

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said investors had appeared less eager than originally anticipated.

"It will be very difficult to reach something in the region of a trillion. Maybe half of that," he said.

Italy remained an enormous concern. Carrying five times as much debt as Greece, Italy was battered for the third straight day Tuesday in the bond markets, seeing its borrowing rates soar to unsustainable levels of 7.56 percent. Investors appear increasingly wary of the country's chances of avoiding default - and making matters worse, the eurozone's third largest economy is deemed too big for Europe to bail out.


The ministers still insisted Italy's new prime minister has promised to balance Italy's budget by 2013.

"We have full confidence that Mario Monti will be able to deliver this program," Juncker said.

The eurozone ministers also called on the International Monetary Fund for more resources to help further protect Europe's embattled currency. But the IMF has only about $390 billion available to lend, which wouldn't be anywhere near enough to rescue Italy.

The eurozone ministers agreed to seek new ways to increase the resources of the IMF through bilateral loans that could protect EU nations facing financial trouble.

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said it was "evident" that the eurozone was moving towards greater fiscal convergence and better coordination of budgets. He said, far from indicating a loss of national sovereignty, these moves would guarantee countries' sovereignty by helping them bring down their debt burdens.

"Reducing our debts is the best way to guarantee our sovereignty," he told reporters.

Eurozone countries have enormous debts that must be refinanced - with euro638 billion ($852 billion) coming due in 2012 alone, 40 percent of which needs to be refinanced before May, according to Barclays Capital.

A failure of the euro would lead to drastic consequences around the world. Bank lending would freeze, stock markets would likely crash, European economies would go into a freefall, and the U.S. and Asia would take big hits to their economies as their exports to Europe collapsed.

___

Angela Charlton in Paris, Melissa Eddy and Juergen Baetz in Berlin and Don Melvin and Greg Keller in Brussels and Christopher S. Rugaber in Washington contributed to this report.

RBS NEWS: American Airlines files for bankruptcy protection

The parent company of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, seeking relief from crushing debt caused by high fuel prices and expensive labor contracts that its competitors shed years ago.

The company also replaced its CEO, and the incoming leader said American would probably cut its flight schedule "modestly" while it reorganizes. The new CEO, Thomas W. Horton, did not give specifics.

For most travelers, though, flights will operate normally and the airline will honor tickets and take reservations. American said its frequent-flier program would be unaffected.

AMR Corp., which owns American, was one of the last major U.S. airline companies that had avoided bankruptcy. Rivals United and Delta used bankruptcy to shed costly labor contracts, reduce debt, and start making money again. They also grew through mergers.

American - the nation's third-largest airline and proud of an 80-year history that reaches back to the dawn of passenger travel - was stuck with higher costs that meant it lost money when matching competitors' lower fares.

In announcing the bankruptcy filing, AMR said that Gerard Arpey, 53, a veteran of the company for almost three decades and CEO since 2003, had retired and was replaced by Horton, 50, the company president.

Horton said the board of directors unanimously decided on Monday night to file for bankruptcy. In a filing with federal bankruptcy court in New York, AMR said it had $29.6 billion in debt and $24.7 billion in assets.

In hearing in a packed bankruptcy courtroom on Tuesday in New York, a judge granted the airline permission to pay for fuel, labor, and other critical expenses to keep it flying. The hearing was an indication of how American will now need to run all of its financial decisions past a bankruptcy judge and, ultimately, creditors.

With reductions to the flight schedule, Horton said there would probably be corresponding job cuts. American has about 78,000 employees and serves 240,000 passengers per day.

AMR's move could also trigger more consolidation in the airline industry. Some analysts believe American is likely to merge with US Airways to move closer to United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. in size. Such a merger would leave five large U.S. airlines compared with nine in 2008.

US Airways declined to comment.

American will delay the spinoff of its regional airline, American Eagle, which was expected early next year.

AMR, however, wants to push ahead with plans to order 460 new jets from Boeing and Airbus and take delivery of more than 50 others already ordered. New planes would save American money on fuel and maintenance, but the orders will be subject to approval by the bankruptcy court.

Analysts said all airlines will benefit if American reduces flights - especially if the cutbacks are more severe than American's new CEO is letting on. They said the chief winners were likely to be United and Delta, which compete for the same business travelers and have global networks like American's.

The losers will be American Airlines employees and AMR stockholders.

Shareholders almost certainly will be wiped out. The stock had already lost 79 percent of its value this year on fears of bankruptcy. The stock fell to 26 cents Tuesday, down $1.36 from the day before. In January 2007, after a 4-year rally, the shares peaked at $41.

AMR has lost more than $12 billion since 2001, and analysts expect it will post more losses through 2012. Speculation about an AMR bankruptcy grew in recent weeks as the company was unable to win union approval for contracts that would reduce labor costs. The company said it was spending $600 million more a year than other airlines because of labor-contract rules - $800 million more including pension obligations.

On Tuesday, Horton said no single factor led to the bankruptcy filing. He said the company needed to cut costs because of the weak global economy, a credit downgrade that raised borrowing costs, and high, volatile fuel prices. The price of jet fuel has risen more than 60 percent in the past five years.

Expectation of a bankruptcy filing increased in November as contract talks with the pilots' union stalled and union leaders rejected a company offer without sending it to members for a vote.

Ray Neidl, an analyst with Maxim Group LLC, an investment banking company, said AMR was wise to file for bankruptcy while it still had about $4 billion in cash. That way, the company will have a cushion to keep operating without worrying immediately about lining up new financing, he said.

Fitch Ratings analyst Bill Warlick said American will focus on shuttering pension plans and getting wage concessions from workers. Both Neidl and Warlick said American might be pushed into a merger with US Airways because size and global networks are more important than ever in the airline business.

Darryl Jenkins, a consultant who has worked for the major airlines, said, "American will still be with us in one form or another 10 years from now." But, he said, its workers will "take a major hit. Their pensions are in danger."

Union leaders expressed unease.

James C. Little, president of the Transport Workers Union, which represents mechanics, baggage handlers and other ground workers at American, was harsh in his assessment of the impact on labor.

"This (bankruptcy) is likely to be a long and ugly process and our union will fight like hell to make sure that front line workers don't pay an unfair price for management's failings," Little said.

AMR, which has headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, lost $162 million in the third quarter and has lost money in 14 of the past 16 quarters.

The company barely escaped bankruptcy in 2003, when it was still reeling from the drop in air travel caused by a recession and the September 2001 terror attacks. That downturn helped drive United, Delta and US Airways into bankruptcy while American used the threat of a filing to wring wage and benefit concessions from workers.

American was founded in 1930 from the combination of many smaller airlines. Its hubs are in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and Miami. Major international partners include British Airways and Japan Airlines.

News of the bankruptcy swept through AMR's hometown.

"American Airlines is an institution in Dallas-Fort Worth, and when institutions start to crumble, you look at everything around you," said Elaine Vale, a jewelry store owner who flew back from a Thanksgiving holiday on American. "After American, then who?"

___

Airline writers Samantha Bomkamp in New York and Joshua Freed in Minneapolis, and Danny Robbins in Fort Worth contributed to this report.

RBS NEWS: Asia stocks fall as Europe debt crisis festers


Asian stocks fell Wednesday after a meeting of Europe's finance ministers failed to stem fears that the euro currency union is hurtling toward a breakup. Banking stocks slumped after some of the world's top financial institutions were slapped with a credit rating downgrade.

Benchmark oil hovered below $99 per barrel and the dollar rose against the euro but fell against the yen.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.2 percent to 8,376.45 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.7 percent to 1,841.79. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.9 percent to 17,911.21. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell marginally to 4,099.

Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and mainland China were also lower. Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand rose.

Sentiment was dented after a meeting in Brussels of finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro ended without an announcement on plans to contain the debt crisis that is threatening to shatter the currency union.

The ministers sent debt-riddled Greece euro8 billion ($10.7 billion) to stem an immediate cash crisis, but they kicked more difficult issues - such as whether countries should cede some control over their finances to a central European authority - to the leaders of the European Union who meet next week.

In the latest sign of trouble, Italy was forced to pay a high interest rate on an auction of three-year debt Tuesday. The 7.89 percent rate was nearly three percentage points higher than last month, an enormous increase.

If Italy were to default on its debt of euro1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion), the fallout could spell ruin for the euro common currency and send shock waves through the global economy. Such a prospect has left little appetite for risky assets.

Analysts at Credit Agricole CIB said in a report that "until concrete and detailed plans for a solution to the crisis are announced, the downward trend" in stocks will continue.

Ratings downgrades for many of the world's largest banks also drove investors to the sidelines, analysts said. Standard & Poor's on Tuesday lowered its credit ratings for 37 financial companies, including Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings PLC.

"The downgrade is affecting local stock market sentiment," said Dickie Wong, executive director of research at Kingston Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. "I believe it gives pressure on the international banking sector, and some local banks will probably be down quite a bit today."

Hong Kong-listed Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank by market value, fell 2.3 percent. Japan's Mizuho Financial Group lost 2 percent and Hong Kong shares of British bank HSBC Holdings fell 2.6 percent.

Insurance companies also fell. Hong Kong-listed China Life Insurance Co., the country's biggest life insurer, lost 3.5 percent. Ping An Insurance fell 5 percent. Japan's Tokio Marine Holdings shed 2.2 percent.

On Wall Street on Tuesday, a jump in U.S. consumer confidence sent stocks modestly higher. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent to close at 11,555.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 1,195.19. The Nasdaq composite, which consists mostly of technology stocks, fell 0.5 percent to 2,515.51.

The Conference Board, a private research firm, said its Consumer Confidence Index climbed 15 points in November to 56.0 - an improvement, but still well below the level of 90 that indicates an economy on solid footing.

Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 63 cents to $99.16 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.58 to settle at $99.79 on Tuesday.

In currency trading, the euro slipped to $1.3328 from $1.3331 late Tuesday in New York. The dollar slipped to 77.88 yen from 77.93 yen.

RB STOCK: Urban Barns Foods, Inc. (URBF)


The Bull has been recovering from the turkey coma he was put in from Thanksgiving. Because of all the pies, stuffing, and gravy The Bull mowed through over the weekend, he decided it was time to be healthy again.

And, healthy, your trading account should be too. As chance would have it, Red Bull Stocks would like to turn your attention to a company that grows produce locally and plans to take over the market in North America and the Middle East. Oh, and the best part is that all the produce is grown indoors.

So, you can have your fresh strawberries, sweet and delicious, grown minutes from your grocery store. And your choice of produce is not impacted if you happen to be in the middle of a month long blizzard or two year drought. Their strategically placed warehouses can have produce from the warehouse to the store shelves within hours.

Urban Barns Foods, Inc. (URBF) is ready to bring Cubic Farming to a major city near you!

Urban Barns is creating a network of buildings. They take abandoned warehouses or other buildings and turn them into agricultural facilities. These buildings have a controlled indoor climate, and are equipped with patented growing machines. Their methods have been shown to yield more food per square foot than a greenhouse, and produce much less waste.

From its base in Vancouver, Urban Barns intends to expand across North America, Puerto Rico and the Middle East, maintaining a presence in every major population centre. They have advanced their food production technique to the point where nobody can mass-produce food at their standards of quality and environmental consciousness. They have pledged to give everyone the choice to buy top quality food without paying specialty store prices.

In news released on Monday, Urban Barns announced their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Caribbean Produce Exchange Inc., a leading distributor of produce in Puerto Rico. According to the terms of the MOU, Caribbean Produce intends to purchase for local distribution, produce grown Urban Barns at a Puerto Rico Cubic Farming facility.

URBF closed at $0.16 on Tuesday. With more good news and all the chatter we hear, look for a bountiful crop to come from URBF!

RBS ADS: Euro in danger, Europe races for debt solution



European leaders rushed Monday to stop a rampaging debt crisis that threatened to shatter their 12-year-old experiment in a common euro currency and devastate the world economy as a result.
One proposal gaining prominence would have countries cede some control over their budgets to a central European authority. In a measure of how rapidly the peril has grown, that idea would have been unthinkable even three months ago.
World stock markets, glimpsing hope that Europe might finally be shocked into stronger action, staged a big rally. The Dow Jones industrial average in New York rose almost 300 points. In France, stocks rose 5 percent, the most in a month.
More relevant to the crisis, borrowing costs for European nations stabilized. They had risen alarmingly in recent weeks - in Greece, then in Italy and Spain, then across the continent, including in Germany, the strongest economy in Europe.
The yields on benchmark bonds issued by Italy and Germany rose, but only by hundredths of a percentage point. The yield fell 0.1 percentage point on bonds of France, 0.14 points for those of Spain and 0.22 points for Belgium.
Allowing a central European authority to have some control over the budgets of sovereign nations would create a fiscal union in Europe in addition to the monetary union of the 17 countries that share the euro currency.
Some analysts have said would be a leap toward creating a United States of Europe. More delicately, it would force the nations of Europe to swallow their national pride, cede some sovereignty and agree to strengthen ties with their neighbors rather than fleeing the euro union during the crisis.
"The common currency has the problem that the monetary policy is joint, but the fiscal policy is not," Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said in a meeting with foreign reporters in Berlin.
The monetary union has existed since the euro was created in 1999, but the European Union, which includes the 17 euro nations and 10 others that use their own currencies, has no central authority over taxing and spending.
Countries like Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy overspent wildly for years and racked up annual budget deficits that have left them with monstrous debt. Italy holds euro1.9 trillion in debt, or 120 percent of the size of its economy.
A fiscal union could prevent excessive spending in the future. More important, it would be a step toward addressing today's debt crisis: It could provide cover for the European Central Bank to stage a massive intervention in the European bond market to drive down borrowing costs and keep the debt crisis under control.
Enforced budget discipline might ease the ECB's concerns about the concept known as moral hazard - essentially, that bailing out free-spending countries would only encourage them to do it again.
A fiscal union would also pose a practical problem - how to make such a body democratically accountable.
Another option is for the 17 nations in the euro group to sell bonds together, known as eurobonds, to help the countries in the deepest trouble because of debt. Germany has resisted such a plan, because it would raise borrowing costs for it and other nations that good credit ratings.
While Europe buzzed over the possible solutions, finance ministers of the euro nations prepared for a summit beginning Tuesday evening in Brussels, to be joined the following day by ministers from the rest of the European Union.
Italy readied an auction of bonds designed to raise euro8 billion, or about $10.6 billion - and steeled itself for the high interest rates it will have to pay.
In Washington, President Barack Obama huddled with European Union officials, and the White House insisted Europe alone was responsible for fixing its debt problems.
While Obama offered no specifics on how the U.S. might help, he said failing to resolve the debt crisis could damage the U.S. economy, which has grown slowly since the end of the recession in June 2009 and still has 9 percent unemployment.
"If Europe is contracting, or if Europe is having difficulties, then it's much more difficult for us to create good here jobs at home," Obama said at the conclusion of the day-long summit.
The euro appeared to be in increasing danger. Experts said the currency could fall apart within days without drastic action, with consequences rivaling those of the 2008 financial crisis.
"Everyone knows that if the eurozone crashes the consequences would be very dramatic and in the race after that there would no winners, just losers," said Finland's finance minister, Jutta Urpilainen.
For countries that decided to leave the euro group and return to their own sovereign currency, the conversion would be wrenching.
If Germany broke away, for example, its national currency could rise in value quickly because the German economy is stronger on its own than the European economy as a whole. But a stronger German mark would damage the German economy because Germany depends heavily on exports, and it would cost more for everyone else to buy German goods.
As for weaker countries that decided to leave, depositors would probably yank money out of their banks, fearing a plummeting currency. Savers would not want their euros replaced with, say, feeble Greek drachmas.
If countries tried to repay their old euro debts with their own currencies, they'd be considered in default and struggle to sell bonds in global financial markets. Corporations would face the same squeeze.
Overall, economists at UBS estimate, a weak country that left the eurozone would see its economy shrink by 50 percent.
Currency chaos and defaults by governments and companies would weaken European banks and also cause them to stop lending to each other. Because banks are connected globally, a credit freeze in Europe would spread. As it did in 2008, a credit freeze would cause stock markets to sell off worldwide, and another deep recession would probably follow.
Wolfgang Munchau, a columnist for the influential Financial Times newspaper, wrote Monday that the common currency "has 10 days at most" to avoid collapse. He called for decisions on a fiscal union and the creation of a powerful common treasury.
Unlike the United States, which has centralized institutions in Washington for raising taxes and spending money, the euro nations have 17 independent treasuries with little oversight from Brussels, the headquarters of the EU.
That would change under the fiscal union proposal being aired ahead of another summit of EU leaders that begins Dec. 9. Ten nations in the EU do not use the euro currency, most notably Britain.
While not explicitly backing a fiscal union, Germany and France have promised to propose measures that will make the 17 euro countries operate under strict and enforceable rules, so that no single country can wreak continent-wide damage.
Already, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international group devoted to economic progress, was warning that the global economy was in for a rocky road in coming months.
In its six-month report Monday, it said the continued failure by EU leaders to stem the debt crisis "could massively escalate economic disruption" and end in "highly devastating outcomes."
The latest turmoil came last week, after Germany tried to auction $8 billion worth of its national bonds and could only persuade investors to buy $5.2 billion. It was a sign that even mighty Germany was not immune from the debt crisis.
Investors around the world will watch the Italian bond auction Tuesday. If it receives a similarly poor reception, more European countries would be in danger of being locked out of the international bond market.
Exactly how a fiscal union would take shape in Europe is an open question.
Schaeuble, the German financial minister, said the proposal would require passage only by the 17 countries that use the euro currency. The other 10 countries in the EU, such as Britain, Poland and Sweden, could adopt it if they wanted to.
But analysts said such a move would take a long time to come to fruition.
"We do seem to be moving slowly towards more of a fiscal union but at a pace that may result in all the components being put in place after a complete meltdown of the financial system," said Gary Jenkins, an economist with Evolution Securities.
Many think the ECB is the only institution capable of calming frayed market nerves. But Merkel, the German chancellor, has continually dismissed the prospect of a bigger role for the ECB.
____
Pylas reported from London and Wiseman from Washington. Melissa Eddy, Juergen Baetz, Kirsten Grieshaber and David Rising in Berlin, and Matti Huuhtanen in Helsinki contributed to this story.
(This version CORRECTS Corrects and expands invitees to summits. Updates with final US market figure. This story is part of AP's general news and financial services.)


Source: AP

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