Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Disastrous" bond sale shakes confidence in Germany

"Disastrous" bond sale shakes confidence in Germany
by Stephen Brown and Noah Barkin
BERLIN | Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52am EST

(Reuters) - A "disastrous" German bond sale on Wednesday sparked fears that Europe's debt crisis was even starting to threaten Berlin, with the leaders of the euro zone's two biggest economies still firmly at odds over a longer-term structural solution.

Investors were also unnerved by reports that Belgium is leaning on France to pay more into emergency support for failed lender Dexia under a 90-billion-euro ($120 billion) rescue deal that had appeared done and dusted.

A special report by Fitch Ratings suggested France had limited room left to absorb shocks to its finances like a new downturn in growth or support for banks without endangering its cherished AAA credit status.

After one of the least successful debt sales by Europe's powerhouse economy since the launch of the single currency, the euro fell to 1.336 to the dollar and European shares sank to 7-week lows.

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