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Feb 7, 2013

ECB holds rates, Draghi enters the lion’s den

FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Mario Draghi faces a grilling
over the European Central Bank’s sensitivity to a sharp rise in
the euro and his connection to an Italian banking scandal after
a policy meeting on Thursday at which policymakers left interest
rates unchanged.

The ECB decided to leave its main interest rate at 0.75
percent. A Reuters poll of economists last week suggested it
would not change rates until at least July 2014.

Feb 6, 2013

New German adviser says ECB pledge risks vital reforms

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s promise to buy bonds of struggling euro zone states has eased pressure on them to reform, Germany’s next “wise man” Volker Wieland said, which could prolong the bloc’s debt crisis.

Wieland, an economics professor at Frankfurt’s Goethe University who will succeed Wolfgang Franz on the German government’s panel of economic advisers in March, also said the ECB’s new banking supervisory role could harm monetary policy.

Jan 30, 2013

Banks repay ECB crisis funds, toughen lending standards

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Banks began early repayment of crisis funds to the European Central Bank on Wednesday, shrinking the ECB’s balance sheet while the world’s other big central banks are still spending to support their economies.

Combined with lackluster demand for weekly funding, it helped boost the euro to its highest level against the dollar since November 2011.

Jan 22, 2013

German investor sentiment at highest since May 2010

MANNHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – German analyst and investor morale rose to its highest level in more than 2-1/2 years in January, in a sign the euro zone crisis is no longer hitting Europe’s largest economy as hard as it was late last year.

The Mannheim-based ZEW think tank said its monthly poll of economic sentiment climbed for a second month to reach its highest level since May 2010, rising to 31.5 points from 6.9 in December. It was the biggest monthly rise in a year.

Jan 16, 2013

Germany brings home gold from Cold War havens

FRANKFURT, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Germany’s central bank plans
to bring home hundreds of tonnes of gold, part of the reserves
it kept in the United States and France during the Cold War for
safety from any Soviet invasion.

The Bundesbank’s decision to move the bullion, announced on
Wednesday, stems partly from a desire among some German
politicians to keep a direct eye on its condition. The bank also
now has space in its own vaults for a metal widely seen as
underpinning confidence in the country’s economic clout.

Jan 16, 2013

Germany’s Bundesbank brings gold reserves home

FRANKFURT, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Germany’s Bundesbank plans to
bring home some of its gold reserves stored in the United
States’ and French central banks, bowing to government pressure
to unwind a Cold War-era ploy that secured the national
treasure.

Germany amassed gold reserves in the post-war era thanks to
rapid economic expansion that saw growing exports to the United
States, where its dollar claims were turned into gold under the
Bretton Woods agreement that Germany joined in 1952.

Jan 15, 2013

German economy contracted 0.5 percent in fourth quarter on euro crisis

WIESBADEN, Germany (Reuters) – The German economy contracted by a larger-than-expected 0.5 percent in the final quarter of 2012, a preliminary estimate from the Federal Statistics office showed on Tuesday, as the euro zone crisis weighed on exports and corporate investment.

The weak fourth quarter pushed overall growth for the year down to 0.7 percent, a sharp slowdown from the 3.0 percent registered in 2011 and a post-reunification record of 4.2 percent in 2010. The 2012 figure was below a Reuters consensus forecast for a growth rate of 0.8 percent.

Jan 10, 2013

ECB, keeping rates on hold, sees recovery later in 2013

FRANKFURT, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The euro zone economy will
recover later in 2013 and there are already some signs of
stabilisation, the European Central Bank said on Thursday after
it unanimously held interest rates at a record low.

The ECB left rates at 0.75 percent, following fledgling
signs of life in the euro zone economy and with inflation still
above target, and its president struck a slightly more
optimistic tone about future prospects.

Jan 10, 2013

ECB to hold fire as economy shows glimmers of hope

FRANKFURT, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
expected to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.75 percent
on Thursday, refraining from a cut as the euro zone economy
shows some signs of stabilising and inflation still tops its
target.

The 17-country euro zone is in recession, but recent data
points to some stabilisation, and ECB President Mario Draghi
might strike a slightly more positive tone in the news
conference that follows the rate decision.

Jan 10, 2013

ECB to hold fire as euro zone economy shows glimmers of hope

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is expected to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.75 percent on Thursday, refraining from a cut as the euro zone economy shows some signs of stabilising and inflation still tops its target.

The 17-country euro zone is in recession, but recent data points to some stabilisation, and ECB President Mario Draghi could strike a slightly more positive tone in the news conference that follows the rate decision.