Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 11:39 UK

Peston explains: What are junk bonds?

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Stock markets in Europe and the US have fallen sharply after the credit ratings of Greece and Portugal were downgraded.

Ratings agency Standard and Poors have given Greece's debts "junk status".

The BBC's Robert Peston explains what this means.

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