FRANKFURT, Germany – The European Central Bank has handed out 130 billion euros ($162 billion) in cheap, long-term loans to banks — part of its effort to stimulate the eurozone economy.
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The amount was closely watched in the markets because ECB president Mario Draghi has said the bank will add roughly 1 trillion euros in new stimulus in coming months.
The amount taken by banks was about what market analysts had expected.
Still, some think it's too low to help achieve the 1 trillion target — and makes it more likely that the ECB will have to resort to new stimulus programs to do that. That could include large-scale purchases of government bonds.
The economy of the 18 countries that use the euro grew only 0.2 percent in the third quarter.