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Greece bans shortselling as stocks tank
Greece bans short selling for 2 months as stocks tank to lowest level in over 14 years
By The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) ' Greece has banned short selling on the stock market for two months from Tuesday, after shares on the Athens Stock Exchange plunged to their lowest level in more than 14 years.

The bourse's general index sank below the 1,000-point mark Monday, closing down 6 percent at 998.24 ' the lowest level since January, 1997 ' as financial markets were buffeted by worries over the U.S. economy following a downgrade of the country's debt.

The slide was markedly more than the declines recorded in other markets in Europe.



Greece became the first EU country to seek an international bailout last year, when it saw its borrowing costs spiral out of control as investors doubted it could repay its debts. International creditors agreed last month to extend it a second bailout.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) ' Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange plunged Monday to their lowest level in more than 14 years, with the bourse's general index sinking below the 1,000-point mark as financial markets remained spooked by a downgrade of U.S. debt.

The Greek index dropped 6 percent to 998.24 points ' the lowest level since January, 1997. That's markedly more than the declines recorded in other markets in Europe.

Debt-ridden Greece became the first European Union country to seek an international bailout last year, when it saw its borrowing costs spiral out of control as investors doubted the country could repay its massive debts.

The financial crisis has also affected other eurozone countries, with Portugal and Ireland also receiving bailouts.

On Monday, Europe's central bank is widely thought to have begun buying the depressed-bonds of Italy and Spain to calm investor fears that the two countries won't be able to pay their debts.

Though that bond-buying effort appears to have worked in the short-term by reducing the two countries borrowing costs, stock markets around the world have been in retreat as investors respond to Standard & Poor's momentous downgrade of the U.S.'s rating.


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