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Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-24/obama-says-russia-s-ukraine-aggression-challenges-order.html?cmpid=yhoo

Ukraine’s government pledged to meet all its debt obligations, stemming a bond selloff triggered by warnings from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BNP Paribas SA that the war-torn country may overhaul its debt.

What does stemming mean in this sentence?

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This can be found in any dictionary, but is easy to overlook on many sites because there are two different, unrelated verbs stem (and a third, related to the first but derived from the noun), and this is usually the second one listed, near the bottom of the page.

It means "restrain or stop the flow of" something. In this case, Ukraine's explicit statement that it would honour its debts caused the selloff of Ukrainian bonds to slow. Such a selloff is essentially a "flow" of capital out of the bonds into more reliable investments, so the term stem is appropriate.

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