The 17-member euro zone has slipped into recession following
two quarters of economic output contraction, the first time
it has been in recession since it experienced five
consecutive quarters of recession leading up to 2009.
Most of the balance of each country's reserves would be in
foreign currency denominated sovereign bonds. One tonne of
gold is 35,274oz. At the recent global spot price of $US1600
an oz, a tonne is worth $US56.4 million ($NZ72.7 million).
The presidents of the European Union and Russia are likely to
discuss possible Russian contributions to stability in the
euro zone when they meet for a summit in Brussels on
Wednesday and Thursday, EU and Russian officials said.
The European Central Bank has acted to soften a looming
recession and avert a credit crunch by cutting interest rates
and offering banks long-term funds but spooked markets by
dousing hopes of dramatic crisis-fighting action in the euro
The leaders of France and Germany have agreed a master plan
for imposing budget discipline across the euro zone, saying
the EU's basic treaty will need to be changed in the search
for a sweeping solution to its debt crisis.
New Zealand and Australia's sharemarkets followed global
markets down yesterday, after the world-wide bourses went
into a tailspin after Greece announced an unexpected
referendum on whether to accept part of a $US1 trillion
($NZ1.26 trillion) European bail-out package.