Germany rattled the markets and its partners by introducing a unilateral 10-month ban on naked short-selling (when securities are sold that are not owned or borrowed, which is the practice in conventional short-selling). Naked short-selling in credit-default swaps is blamed by some for pushing up Greece's debt-funding costs, although BaFin, Germany's financial regulator, said in March that it had found "no evidence of massive speculation against Greek bonds."

Meanwhile, finance ministers in the European Union gave their blessing to proposed regulations that would curtail the activities of hedge funds and private equity firms. With 80 percent of the European industry based in London, George Osborne, the British chancellor, raised his concerns but backed off from harsher criticism of the new rules, which are enthusiastically supported by France and Germany.

Dubai World reached an agreement with its principal creditors to restructure $23.5 billion of debt, and emphasized that it did not require additional government support. The state-owned conglomerate roiled markets last November when it requested a six-month standstill on debt repayments.

Chinese stock markets fell again on fears that the government might rein in the booming housing market and that the debt crisis in Europe could hurt exports. After a strong rebound in 2009, the Shanghai Composite index is Asia's worst-performing stock market so far this year.

Britain's Prudential published the prospectus for a $21 billion rights issue to help pay for its takeover of the Asian life insurance business of American International Group. Since announcing the deal in March, Prudential has sought to assure investors about the $35.5 billion price tag, insisting the business will be very profitable. The share offering was priced at a heavy discount.

Executives at Facebook met to decide whether they should simplify the 170 privacy options on the social-networking website amid growing unease about the public availability of users' personal information. Separately, Google admitted that it had sometimes unintentionally collected Web data from wireless networks during mapping for its Street View service.

The price of oil closed below $70 a barrel for the first time this year. Oil prices have tumbled by a fifth since the beginning of May, partly because of a buildup in oil inventories at a delivery point in Oklahoma.

Terra Firma Capital Partners agreed to invest "additional sums" in EMI, avoiding a default on its debt to Citigroup that could have seen the bank seize control of the music group. Terra Firma bought EMI in 2007 but has since struggled with its investment and undertook a cash-raising exercise to avert the loan default.

An auction of 3G bandwidth for wireless services in India reaped $15 billion for the government, double what was expected. According to the telecom regulator, subscriptions for current wireless services reached 584 million in March.

Political economy

Thailand's army brought an end to more than two months of protests in Bangkok. Dozens of people were killed and scores injured over several days as troops moved in to break up the red-shirt camps and capture their leaders. The government imposed a curfew in much of the country.

 

Greece received $25.4 billion from the European Union and the IMF, the first tranche of its $138 billion bailout package. The country was hit by another general strike. Separately, the deputy tourism minister resigned when it emerged that her pop-star husband owed more than $6.3 million in taxes and fines.

 

Tens of thousands of Romanians took to the streets to protest against their government's austerity measures, which include plans to cut public-sector pay by a quarter and pensions by 15 percent.

In what was billed as the biggest commercial forest-preservation agreement in history, environmental advocates and timber companies struck a deal to protect 177 million acres of forests in Canada. The pact will ban logging in parts of the area and limit it in others.

Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, a former presidential candidate in Mexico, disappeared in a suspected kidnapping. His car was found abandoned with bloodstains inside it.