ECB Settled Bond Purchases Totaling 462 bln Euros
The European Central Bank quickened the pace of its government bond buying program somewhat last week, settling purchases totaling 462 million euros ($598 million) after settling just 19 million euros worth of transactions the previous week, data showed Monday.
In the week ending Dec. 16, the ECB settled purchases of 3.4 billion euros of bonds. The ECB is thought to have focused purchases under its Securities Market Program on Italian and Spanish government debt after ramping up activity beginning in August in an effort to hold down borrowing costs for the euro zone’s third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively.
The ECB “sterilizes” its bond purchases by draining an amount equivalent to its total bond purchases under the program, which now stands at 211.5 billion euros, in a weekly money market operation.