Anthony Faiola and Zachary Goldfarb
Washington Post 
Aug 8, 2011
LONDON — Stock markets in Europe and Asia continued a bitter string of declines Monday, despite pledges of action by world leaders and a radical move by the European Central Bank to ease fears of an escalating debt crisis in the region by buying up the troubled debt of Italy and Spain.
The ECB signaled after an emergency meeting Sunday that that it would invest in European bond markets in a bid to prop up hard-hit Italy and Spain, Europe’s fourth- and fifth-largest economies, which are in the midst of a worsening financial crisis.
Signs of that intervention on Monday — as well as a vow by the G-7 nations to take “all necessary measures to support financial stability and growth” — buoyed the bonds of both nations, sharply driving down their borrowing costs in midday European trading.
But on the first day of global trade following a downgrade of U.S. debt by Standard & Poors, broader sentiment remained grim, with even stock markets in Milan and Madrid giving back their early gains and falling into negative territory.