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Debt Crisis To Take Center Stage At ECB Meeting

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet
The eurozone debt crisis is expected to dominate discussions at the monthly policy meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on August 4.

The cost of borrowing for Italy and Spain on global money markets hit record highs on August 3, raising fears that the two countries -- the third and fourth-largest economies in the 17-nation eurozone -- may follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in seeking an international bailout.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso described the developments as "a cause of deep concern."

Investors hope that at a press conference after the meeting, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet will offer some sort of reassurance to financial markets that the bank is prepared to act to contain the eurozone debt crisis.

compiled from agency reports