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martes, 12 de junio de 2012

ECB out of government bond markets for 13th week

FRANKFURT
The European Central Bank stayed out of government bond markets for a 13th straight week, even as Spain's soaring borrowing costs forced the country into a 100 billion-euro ($125 billion) bailout of its banks
The ECB said Monday it settled no purchases of government bonds last week. The last time the central bank settled government bonds, in the second week of March, the amount was EUR27 million
The bank has put its bond-buying program essentially on hold since pumping more than a trillion euros into the banking system late last year and early this year via its three-year loan operations
Commercial banks have used some of those ECB funds to purchase euro-zone government bonds, which has helped lower bond yields, especially in Spain and Italy. But money supply data two weeks ago showed that banks stopped buying government bonds in April and reduced their sovereign bond holdings
The ECB has bought government bonds on and off over the past two years to help contain the region's debt crisis
Critics say the bond-buying program amounts to support for ailing euro-zone governments, and as such exceeds the ECB's mandate to maintain price stability
The central bank announces each Monday the value of its bond purchases completed in the seven days up to, and including Wednesday of the previous week
The ECB doesn't break down the debt-purchase figures either by country or maturity
The ECB further said Monday it will drain EUR212.0 billion Tuesday from the market at a variable-rate tender with a maximum bid rate of 1.00%, unchanged from last week's amount
The tender is aimed at offsetting the potential inflation-boosting impact of the bond purchases

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