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US, European Stock Markets Rebound, Thursday

Stocks in the United States and Europe are posting sharp gains of between 1 and 2 percent in Thursday's trading.

Analysts say the latest developments may indicate investors think the recent sell-off in global equity markets may have been overdone and that things may stabilize in the days ahead.

Earlier Thursday most Asian markets were lower but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed with a sharp gain.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Monetary Fund says the economic crisis will be prolonged but he expects recovery to begin at the end of 2009.

Dominique Strauss-Khan spoke in Washington as top economic officials from IMF nations and the G-7 industrialized countries are gathering for meetings on economic issues.

Strauss-Khan said there is "no domestic solution" to the crisis. He said the recent coordinated action to cut interest rates around the world is an example of the kind of cooperation it will take to restore faltering economies.

The U.S., European, British, Canadian, Swiss, Swedish and Chinese central banks all cut their key rates on Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg.