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Apr 16, 2013

German investor morale erodes on euro zone, global fears

MANNHEIM, Germany, April 16 (Reuters) – German analyst and
investor sentiment fell sharply in April, hit by fears that a
deterioration of the euro zone crisis and a global slowdown, led
by a weakening China, could take a heavy toll on Europe’s
biggest economy.

The Mannheim-based ZEW think tank said on Tuesday its
monthly poll of economic sentiment fell to 36.3 points from 48.5
in March. The reading undershot a Reuters poll forecast of 42.0
and sent the euro down against the dollar.

Apr 10, 2013

French malaise pushes ECB closer to rate cut

FRANKFURT, April 10 (Reuters) – France’s economic downturn
is putting pressure on the European Central Bank to cut its main
interest rate further even though the impact on the euro zone’s
No. 2 economy would be negligible.

French business activity plummeted in March, putting the
brakes on the bloc’s recovery, as high unemployment weighed on
private consumption that accounts for more than half the French
economy.

Apr 4, 2013

ECB “ready to act” to help languishing economy

FRANKFURT, April 4 (Reuters) – European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi opened the door on Thursday to an
interest rate cut as soon as next month, saying his bank stands
“ready to act” to boost the recession-hit euro zone economy.

Speaking at news conference after the ECB held rates at a
record low 0.75 percent, the highest level among the world’s
major central banks, Draghi said discussion at the monthly
meeting had been extensive and the consensus was to hold fire.

Apr 4, 2013

ECB holds rates, markets watch for signs of later cut

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, waiting to see if a recession-hit economy perks up and whether an aggressive policy move by the Bank of Japan helps the euro zone.

Investors’ attention will now shift to ECB President Mario Draghi’s 8.30 a.m. EDT news conference for any signals about the bank’s preparedness to lower borrowing costs for the 17-country euro zone in the coming months.

Apr 3, 2013

ECB seen on hold, markets look for signs of later cut

FRANKFURT, April 4 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
expected to hold interest rates on Thursday but investors will
be looking for any signs it is preparing for a cut in coming
months to help lift the euro zone out of recession.

Despite a recent drop in economic sentiment and falling
inflation, a Reuters poll of 73 economists showed little change
in expectations, with rates set to remain at 0.75 percent -
tiny, but still the highest level among the world’s major
central banks.

Mar 28, 2013

Euro zone corporate loan gain offers euro zone hope

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lending to euro zone businesses rose on the month in February for the first time since July, showing patchy and fragile gains that offer a glimmer of hope for the euro zone’s crisis-hit economy.

Banks granted non-financial firms 2 billion euros (1.69 billion pounds) more of loans in February than in the previous month, European Central Bank data adjusted for sales and securitisations showed on Thursday.

Mar 21, 2013

ECB backs effort to wean banks off central bank support

FRANKFURT, March 21 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
encouraging market-led initiatives to make banks less dependent
on its funding by making it easier for them to use loans as
collateral in the interbank market.

Banks, especially in crisis-hit euro zone countries, are
finding it increasingly difficult to come up with collateral to
tap ECB loans due to tougher regulatory standards and downgrades
in assets’ ratings as a result of the financial crisis.

Mar 21, 2013

ECB sets Monday deadline for Cyprus bailout deal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank set Cyprus a Monday deadline to agree a bailout plan, threatening to cut off funding to the islands’ cash-strapped banks if a program is not agreed by then with the EU and the IMF.

The decision by the ECB’s Governing Council, announced on Thursday, gives Cyprus a last chance to agree a bailout that bears the EU/IMF stamp, or else succumb to financial meltdown.

Mar 17, 2013

Fed, BoE asset-buying probably not main inflation expectation driver-BIS

FRANKFURT, March 17 (Reuters) – Asset-buying by the Bank of
England and Federal Reserve to soften the blow of the financial
crisis have only had limited impact on inflation expectations,
Bank for International Settlements research showed on Sunday.

Since 2008, the U.S. and British central banks have tried to
revive lending and support economic growth by spending billions
on government and private sector debt.

Mar 12, 2013

Euro woes not over, says crisis-wary Bundesbank

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A wary German central bank said on Tuesday it had set aside billions more euros against what it deems risky European Central Bank moves, and criticised France directly for “floundering” in its reform drives.

Presenting Bundesbank 2012 results, Jens Weidmann, the bank’s chief, said the euro zone crisis, which has eased as a result of ECB funding promises, was not over. He urged governments to tackle the roots of their troubles with reforms.