ECB spent $9.6 billion last week on govt bonds

AP News
Posted: Aug 29, 2011 9:41 AM
ECB spent $9.6 billion last week on govt bonds

The European Central Bank says it spent euro6.65 billion ($9.64 billion) last week purchasing government bonds in an attempt to keep the continent's debt crisis from pushing Italy and Spain into financial collapse.

The purchases announced on the bank's Twitter feed compare to euro14.3 billion last week and euro22 billion the week before.

The purchases raise bond prices and drive down the interest yields on those bonds. Rising interest rates pushed Greece, Ireland and Portugal into needing bailout loans.

Eurozone officials are trying to keep such troubles from spreading to Italy and Spain, which are considered too large to bail out.

The central bank says it expects the eurozone bailout fund to take over the purchases as soon as national parliaments agree on that in coming weeks.