BBC新闻100篇:BBC News Item 5

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[00:00.00]Stock markets in Europe and the United States have fallen sharply

[00:04.11]in response to further signs that the debt CRIsis in Greece is intensifying

[00:08.46]and could spread to other countries.

[00:10.51]Share prices in New York, London, Frankfurt and Paris

[00:13.81]fell by more than 2% after a major international credit rating agency

[00:18.41]Standard & Poor's downgraded Greek debt

[00:21.40]to a level known informally as junk.

[00:23.33]Nils Blythe has more.

[00:24.82]Standard & Poor's downgraded its assessment

[00:27.56]of Greek bonds to the so-called junk status

[00:30.04]because of the growing danger

[00:31.97]that the bond holders will not be paid back in full.

[00:34.59]Many big investment funds have rules

[00:37.45]that forbid them from holding junk bonds,

[00:39.13]says the move is likely to trigger a further round of selling.

[00:42.17]Share markets have taken fright,

[00:44.16]fearing that if Greece does default on its debts,

[00:46.78]it would hit many European banks which hold Greek bonds

[00:50.01]and could trigger a wider financial CRIsis.

[00:52.75]Already pressure is mounting on Portugal

[00:55.86]which has also seen its credit rating downgraded today,

[00:58.84]although it remains above junk status.

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