European Markets Begin to Regain Ground

European stocks edged higher Thursday, reflecting Wall Street's rebound after trouble on the Chinese markets sent a ripple through other world markets earlier in the week.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And let's continue our tour by going to Europe, where markets also fell on Tuesday and where prices are up slightly today.

NPR's Emily Harris is covering the story in Berlin.

And Emily, is everybody checking their stock portfolios the last couple of days?

EMILY HARRIS: There was actually a rush on one of the bank's online trading systems so much so that it crashed several times yesterday morning. But there's a range of views here. I mean, some analysts are saying - like we've been hearing from Wall Street and from Shanghai - that this is a correction that was needed and nobody's really sure exactly what's going to happen next. It wasn't as dramatic here as in China, for example, but followed along. There were big drops on Tuesday and then smaller drops yesterday.

INSKEEP: Was there a moment of panic, especially on Tuesday, just that moment when nobody really knew which direction things were headed?

HARRIS: I wouldn't say panic. I mean, things are a bit more restrained in Europe, generally. But there is certainly, you know, a big sense of uncertainty. The general worries are wondering what impact the Chinese markets would have over time, and so a real reaction to that big drop there. And then also, there are underpinning worries about the strength and the solidity of the U.S. economy right now. And those worries rear their heads when everything - when anything goes wrong here in Europe. And the European and U.S. economy are very closely tied. There's many company doing business, obviously, between the two and a lot of trade going back and forth. So the fundamental question here is how solid is the U.S. economy at the moment.

INSKEEP: Are there worries about Europe's own economy?

HARRIS: Well, Europe's own economy is definitely something that's in the forefront of the European mind. The outlook generally recently has been more optimistic than in the past couple of years. So the feeling right now, even with these drops in the stock market, is that the European economy is heading upward. Whereas it's been quite slow recently in the past few years, particularly because Germany has been dragging its feet, high unemployment numbers and so forth. Those have gone down recently and exports have remained strong.

INSKEEP: Okay. Emily, thanks very much.

HARRIS: My pleasure.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Emily Harris in Berlin, completing a quick tour of the world. We also heard from Wall Street and from China.

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