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THE NEWS WRAP: Emergency talks held over Eurozone debt crisis

Monday, 8 August 2011 | By Oliver Milman

European financial chiefs have held emergency talks over whether to prevent Italy and Spain being dragged into the debt crisis that has fuelled turmoil across global markets.

 

The European Central Bank met overnight to decide whether to buy Italian debt to help calm markets that have spiralled due to the escalating Eurozone debt crisis and the US credit downgrade, the first in its history.

 

Finance ministers from the G7 group of economic powerhouses had a series of telephone calls over the weekend to discuss the situation, with uncertainty growing after the Saudi stock market dropped by a massive 5.5%.

 

US downgrade could hit Aussie firms

 

The US’ credit downgrade has raised fears that borrowing costs for Australian companies reliant on funding from the country could skyrocket.

 

Nearly $100 billion was wiped off the value of Australian shares last week, with Myer chief executive Bernie Brooks admitting that the outlook could be tough for firms attempting to secure credit from the US economy.

 

However, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has downplayed the impact of the global downturn on Australia, claiming that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

 

“Spam King” arrested

 

A man accused of sending 27 million spam messages to Facebook users has turned himself in to authorities.

 

Sanford Wallace, also known as the "Spam King", surrendered to FBI agents in California. He denies the charges of compromising 500,000 Facebook accounts and sending millions of spam emails, which carries a potential 10-year prison term.

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rounded off its worst week in two years by climbing 60.93 points to 11,444.61. The Australian dollar was down to 104.25 US cents