ECB Will Start QE Bond Buys On March 9

MarketWatch Pulse

The European Central Bank will begin buying government bonds on March 9 as part of its €1.1 trillion ($1.22 trillion) bond-buying program aimed at boosting growth and inflation in the eurozone. Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the easing measures from the central bank have already boosted the eurozone economy, with borrowing conditions for businesses improving "considerably" and credit dynamics firming. The central bank announced its aggressive QE program at its Jan. 22 meeting, but did not disclose when the sovereign-debt purchases would take place. The ECB plans to buy €50 billion of eurozone government bonds a month until at least September, in addition to the €10 billion in asset-backed securities and covered bonds the bank is already buying on a monthly basis. The move to kick off the government bond buys on March 9 was widely anticipated, as Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure in early February said the bank would tap into the bond market in the first two weeks of March.

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