December 12, 2011
A European summit deal to strengthen budget discipline in the euro zone failed to restore financial market confidence on Monday, forcing the European Central Bank to step in again gingerly.
The euro fell, stocks slid and borrowing costs for Italy and Spain rose as investors weighed the outcome of last week’s summit that split the European Union, with Britain blocking treaty change and forcing euro zone countries to negotiate a fiscal accord outside the Union.
Friday’s initial market rally petered out in less than 24 trading hours due to legal uncertainty surrounding the new pact and the absence of an unlimited financial backstop for the single currency.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the legal basis of a new accord to enforce debt and deficit rules in the 17-nation euro area with quasi-automatic sanctions and intrusive powers to reject national budgets would be worked out before Christmas.