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A broker in a trading room of a Portuguese bank in Lisbon watches a screen displaying financial information about turmoil in the Portuguese stock market and the sharp fall in Banco Espirito Santo shares on July 10, 2014.
A broker in a trading room of a Portuguese bank in Lisbon watches a screen displaying financial information about turmoil in the Portuguese stock market and the sharp fall in Banco Espirito Santo shares on July 10, 2014.
(Francisco Seco/AP)

Portugal bank’s woes spur EU volatility

Troubles at a Portuguese bank sent shivers through global markets, underscoring the fragility of the stock rally and reawakening fears over the stability of Europe’s banks and the prospects for economic recovery.

While those concerns subsided and North American stocks later pulled back from deeper losses, the ripple effects from Portugal put a sudden end to investor complacency and triggered a rush to traditional islands of safety such as U.S. Treasuries, German government bonds and gold.