Amsterdam stocks open 2 percent lower

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The Amsterdam stock exchange has opened 1.6 percent lower, that's 6 points down on its Friday close. The AEX index started the day at 293 points. 

Dutch media are quoting analysts' worries about a Black Monday on the exchanges in the light of the European debt crisis. The European Central Bank decided on Sunday to start buying Italian and Spanish government bonds, adding two more eurozone countries to the list of ailing economies.

Exchanges in Asia showed a marked drop earlier on Monday following the lowering of the US credit rating by one of the ratings agencies. Trade in Tel Aviv on Sunday ended 7 percent lower.

Summer recess The Dutch government has not yet reacted in detail to the financial situation. Finance Minister Jan-Cees de Jager said before the weekend that he was 'monitoring developments'. Parliament in The Hague is away for the summer recess, and most ministers are on holiday.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte was spotted at the Dance Valley festival near Amsterdam on Sunday, prompting comments that he had better attend to the financial crisis. Immigration Minister Gerd Leers is acting as caretaker prime minister during the summer break.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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