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Countrywide Tapping $11.5B line of credit to help ease its way through a global credit crunch
, a sign of how difficult it has become for the nation's largest lender to borrow money to fund its loans....Confidence among home builders fell this month to the lowest level since 1991, and sales of existing homes fell in 41 states during the second quarter, according to reports released Wednesday....The yen rose to its highest since June 2006 against the dollar as investors fled carry trades while companies in Australia and Canada sought emergency funds because they were unable to refinance debt....The yen is the strongest currency today as the carry trades unwound....The last time the carry trade crashed was in 1998 after Russia's debt default in August. The yen gained 20 percent in less than two months....The amount of U.S. commercial paper outstanding had its biggest weekly drop since the 2001 terrorist attacks as investors cut off the financing of some mortgages......Canadian stocks fell, wiping out the main index's gains in 2007, as investors worldwide sold raw- materials and energy assets on concern a credit crunch may hurt economic growth and curb demand for oil and metals....European stocks dropped the most in 4 1/2 years on concern a global credit crunch will sap earnings and erode economic growth....Asian stocks tumbled to their biggest two-day drop in a year after Australia's Rams Home Loans Group Ltd. said it was unable to refinance $5 billion of debt amid a widening credit crunch...Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged, dropping the most in five months, as mortgage losses linked to a U.S. housing recession fan concern global economic growth will slow....
U.S. stocks rose after a late-day rally in banks and brokerages helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average erase a 343-point drop..... Equity markets shook around the world, sending benchmark indexes in the U.S., Europe and Asia to the lowest levels in five months...No meeting is scheduled for the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee today, according to the Fed's Web site. Any unscheduled meetings of the FOMC would be ``confidential,'' St. Louis Fed President William Poole said yesterday.

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