Dutch parliament seeks speculative trading ban

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Dutch lawmakers on Thursday called on the government to ban some forms of speculative trading on financial markets to confront Europe's debt crisis, the ANP news agency reported.

The 150-seat lower house of parliament backed a motion asking the government to follow the example of Germany, which this week banned so-called naked short selling of eurozone government bonds.

Naked short selling is when an investor sells on the market a security they do not hold, hoping to be able to buy it later in the day at a lower price, thereby earning a profit.

Short selling has been repeatedly implicated in quick drops in markets, and its use has been limited or banned during the financial crisis on major exchanges.

In addition to eurozone government bonds, the German ban applies to certain credit default swaps and to the shares of 10 financial institutions, and will be in force until March 31 next year.

Though aimed at easing market volatility, the unilateral German move sent stocks reeling as analysts said it showed a lack of unity among European nations in confronting the debt crisis.

The turmoil is being driven by debt and public deficit levels which have soared way above EU rules as governments increased spending to get their economies through the worst recession in generations.

© 2010 AFP

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