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Jan 9, 2014

ECB holds rates, assesses inflation ‘danger zone’

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low on Thursday, holding off fresh action for now while it assesses whether it needs to respond to cost-of-living numbers weak enough to raise concerns about deflation.

The decision to hold the main rate at 0.25 percent, which was widely expected, came despite news earlier this week that euro zone inflation slowed to 0.8 percent in December – well below the ECB’s target of just below 2 percent.

Jan 9, 2014

ECB to keep rates on hold, remind market of readiness to act

FRANKFURT, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
likely to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday while
reminding the market that it will ease policy if inflation stays
too low or money market conditions tighten too much.

ECB President Mario Draghi will reassure investors that the
bank will not tolerate inflation holding persistently in the
“danger zone” below 1 percent.

Jan 3, 2014

Euro zone corporate lending shrinks at record pace in November

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lending to companies in the euro zone contracted at the fastest pace on record in November, piling pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to revive the currency bloc’s economy.

The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low, pumped extra liquidity into the banking system and announced a yet-to-be-used government bond purchase program, but the measures have so far not reached all corners of the euro zone evenly.

Dec 17, 2013

German investor morale hits highest level since April 2006

MANNHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – German analyst and investor sentiment leapt in December, hitting its highest level in nearly eight years and suggesting growth in Europe’s largest economy will pick up next year.

The Mannheim-based ZEW economic think tank’s monthly poll of economic sentiment, published on Tuesday, climbed to 62.0 from 54.6 in November.

Dec 16, 2013

German woman with bank expertise front-runner to join ECB board

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Sabine Lautenschlaeger, a German bank supervision expert with no monetary policy record, is an early favorite to replace Joerg Asmussen on the ECB’s executive board after his decision to leave early to spend more time with his family.

Lautenschlaeger, 49, who was praised by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday as a worthy candidate to replace Asmussen, is vice president of the Bundesbank and analysts said her appointment could herald a more united, hawkish German stance within the ECB’s rate-setting council.

Dec 9, 2013

SEC official says final Volcker rule ‘significantly different’

By Eva Taylor and Sakari Suoninen

(Reuters) – The final version of the Volcker rule to ban banks from gambling with their own money is “significantly different” from the originally proposed version, making its impact on the markets difficult to gauge, a top U.S. securities regulator said on Monday.

Regulators will release the long-awaited final version of the Volcker rule on Tuesday, following two years of consultation over a rule which Wall Street sees as one of the harshest elements of the post-financial crisis crackdown.

Dec 5, 2013

Draghi says ECB ready to act, but unsure how

FRANKFURT, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
ready to take fresh policy action to support the euro zone
economy but has not yet worked out a detailed plan of which
policy tool to use when, the bank’s president said on Thursday.

After its final policy meeting of 2013, Mario Draghi also
said the ECB will only offer banks a fresh batch of long-term
loans if it is confident they will lend on the funds, putting a
question mark over the tool markets expect the ECB to use next.

Dec 5, 2013

ECB sees prolonged lack of inflation, ready to act

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation will stay well below target for the next two years and the European Central Bank is ready to act if necessary to lift a listless economy, it said on Thursday.

The ECB left its key interest rate at 0.25 percent at its last policy meeting of the year, choosing not to follow through on November’s surprise cut.

Dec 3, 2013

ECB seen on hold, new forecasts key to next move

FRANKFURT, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
likely to hold off any fresh policy action on Thursday, but new
staff forecasts will be in focus for signs of prolonged price
weakness that could lead it to act again next year.

After surprising markets last month with a cut in rates to a
new record low, ECB President Mario Draghi said the euro zone
“may experience a prolonged period of low inflation” and that
the ECB was ready to consider using all available policy tools.

Nov 28, 2013

Euro zone loans contraction increases pressure on ECB

FRANKFURT, Nov 28 (Reuters) – A contraction in loans to
households and companies in the euro zone quickened in October,
piling pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to buoy
the euro zone’s weak recovery.

The ECB cut its main refinancing rate earlier this month to
0.25 percent, but the euro zone central bank’s record low
interest rates are not feeding through evenly to the real
economy in all corners of the currency bloc.

    • About Sakari

      "I am part of the Reuters team covering the European Central Bank. Before moving to Frankfurt in early 2009, I was based in Helsinki, where I wrote about the Finnish economy and paper industry."
      Hometown:
      Helsinki
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
      Languages:
      Finnish, English, German, Swedish
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