British Bank Buys Rival To Help Calm Jitters

The British bank Lloyds is buying Halifax Bank of Scotland for $22 billion. European politicians and bankers hope the deal will help ease investors' concern.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's business news starts with the markets calmer for the moment.

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MONTAGNE: Finance officials around the world are working hard to soothe nervous financial markets, and their efforts seem to be working, at least so far today. Yesterday's sharp drop in the Dow Industrials and other U.S. market indexes triggered selloffs in Asia. Asian investors have been jumpy about what's happening on Wall Street, and they've been wondering what major U.S. financial institution will fall next. So they've been selling stocks and moving their money into safer investments, like Treasury bills. In an effort to stave off more market panic, central banks in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. have been pumping billions of dollars into financial markets to boost confidence.

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