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Jul 11, 2013

Forward guidance more than passing fashion for central banks

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – “Watch what we do, not what we say,” was the central bank mantra for generations. But no more.

In the space of a few hours last week, the European Central Bank and Bank of England embarked on a momentous change, moving to provide an interest rate outlook as the Federal Reserve already does, a crisis response that could become a permanent feature.

Jul 4, 2013

ECB, abandoning tradition, commits to record low rates

FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
broke with precedent by declaring it would keep interest rates
at record lows for an extended period and may yet cut further,
responding to turbulence caused by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s
exit plan from money-printing.

Less than two hours after the Bank of England gave a steer
about future interest rate moves, ECB President Mario Draghi
followed suit, abandoning the euro zone central bank’s customary
insistence that it never precommits on policy.

Jul 4, 2013

ECB holds rates as euro crisis threatens to return

FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank left
interest rates unchanged on Thursday and will try to reassure
investors rattled by new turmoil in Europe and the U.S. Federal
Reserve’s plans to begin winding up its stimulus.

The ECB met against a backdrop of political crisis in
Portugal that pushed its benchmark bond yields above 8 percent
on Wednesday, a spike that stirred angst in financial markets
already jittery after the Fed last month set out a plan to exit
from its money-printing programme.

Jul 2, 2013

Debt crisis hits demand for euro as reserve currency

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Countries around the world cut back on their holdings of euros as a percentage of foreign exchange reserves last year as the sovereign debt crisis kept investors wary, the European Central Bank said on Tuesday.

International Monetary Fund data shows the decrease continued in the first quarter of this year, although the euro remains the world’s second-most important reserve currency after the dollar.

Jun 21, 2013

Analysis: Creeping mistrust stops euro zone banks lending to peers across bloc

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone banks are refusing to lend to peers in other countries in the common currency bloc, signaling a worrying fall in confidence that appears to have worsened since the Cyprus bailout earlier this year, data analyzed by Reuters showed.

In a trend that could reignite fears about the euro and its banks, European Central Bank data shows the share of interbank funding that crosses borders within the euro zone dropped by a third, to just 22.5 percent in April from 34.5 percent at the beginning of 2008.

Jun 21, 2013

Creeping mistrust stops euro zone banks lending to peers across bloc

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, June 21 (Reuters) – Euro zone banks are
refusing to lend to peers in other countries in the common
currency bloc, signalling a worrying fall in confidence that
appears to have worsened since the Cyprus bailout earlier this
year, data analysed by Reuters showed.

In a trend that could reignite fears about the euro and its
banks, European Central Bank data shows the share of interbank
funding that crosses borders within the euro zone dropped by a
third, to just 22.5 percent in April from 34.5 percent at the
beginning of 2008.

Jun 18, 2013

Rise in German investor morale points to modest recovery

MANNHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – German analyst and investor sentiment rose for a second straight month in June, a leading survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is on track for a modest recovery after a weak end to 2012 and sluggish start to this year.

The Mannheim-based ZEW economic think tank’s monthly poll of economic sentiment climbed to 38.5 from 36.4 in May, beating the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a reading of 38.1.

Jun 13, 2013

ECB’s Weidmann warns crisis policies could weaken monetary policy

MUNICH (Reuters) – Central banks independence is currently increasingly under threat and central banks are partly to blame for the situation, European Central Bank Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said on Thursday.

Central banks meddling in fiscal policy weakens their ability to take care of their main task of keeping inflation low, he added, a day after a round of hearings to the ECB’s bond-buying program ended at the German constitutional court.

Jun 11, 2013

Praet says ECB has room to cut rates lower

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has room to cut interest rates further, Executive Board member Peter Praet said on Tuesday, adding that the central bank is paying “great attention” to euro zone inflation, currently below its target.

The ECB cut its main refinancing rate to 0.5 percent and kept its deposit rate a zero at its May policy meeting, but said it stood ready to act again should economic conditions require more stimulus. It kept rates unchanged in June.

Jun 7, 2013

Bundesbank puts dampener on German trade optimism

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, June 7 (Reuters) – German trade activity
rose sharply in April, but a cut in the Bundesbank’s growth
forecast dampened hopes that Europe’s largest economy might be
gaining momentum.

Exports rose 1.9 percent and imports by 2.3 percent, Federal
Statistics Office data showed on Friday, offering some
encouragement to other euro zone states aiming to export their
way out of the region’s crisis.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
      Languages:
      Finnish, English, German, Swedish
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