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ECB's Weidmann says sanctions would put brake on Russian economy

BERLIN (Reuters) - Sanctions against Moscow over its annexation of Crimea would compound the impact on the Russian economy after already massive capital outflows, the president of the German central bank said on Tuesday. "The escalation of the conflict has resulted in massive capital outflows, to a significant fall in value of the ruble and to a rise in financing costs and therefore a negative impact on confidence," Jens Weidmann told an audience in Berlin.

Weak data, ECB easing talk send euro zone bond yields lower

By Marius Zaharia LONDON (Reuters) - Euro zone bond yields fell on Tuesday as below-forecast data from major economies and talk about extraordinary ECB monetary easing measures overshadowed worries about a turnaround in Federal Reserve policy. Bond yields in many euro zone countries have almost completely reversed last week's rise of up to 10 basis points triggered after Fed chair Janet Yellen's surprising signal that the United States could raise interest rates sooner than many had expected.

ECB won't adopt threshold-based rate guidance: Constancio

By Ann Saphir WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will not tie interest-rate policy to specific economic thresholds, a top policymaker said on Saturday. "We think it would not be useful," ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Saturday, referring to the threshold-based approach to monetary policy that the U.S. Federal Reserve abandoned this week after using it for just over a year.

ECB won't use threshold or date-based rate guidance: Constancio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank won't tie interest-rate policy to specific economic milestones, an approach the U.S. Federal Reserve used for just over a year and abandoned this week, a top policymaker said on Saturday. "We think it would not be useful," ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Saturday, without elaborating. He dismissed the idea of giving a time frame for the bank could raise rates, saying the idea is "even worse" than thresholds.

Europe strikes deal to complete banking union

By John O'Donnell and Tom Körkemeier BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe took the final step to complete a banking union on Thursday with an agency to shut failing euro zone banks, but there will be no joint government back-up to pay the costs of closures. The breakthrough ends an impasse with the European Parliament, which persuaded euro zone countries to strengthen the scheme. It completes the second pillar of banking union, which starts at the end of the year when the European Central Bank takes over as watchdog.

ECB on defensive over rates status quo

The European Central Bank appears to be increasingly on the defensive, stepping up efforts this week to counter criticism of complacency after it held interest rates steady again this month. A whole range of top ECB officials -- from president Mario Draghi to chief economist Peter Praet and the newest executive board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger -- have felt compelled to defend the decision not to ease monetary conditions any further, despite an alarmingly low level of inflation.

ECB ready to act if real interest rates don't fall - Coeure

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's forward guidance on interest rates means that real interest rates for borrowers should fall as inflation rises and the ECB is ready to act if this does not happen, ECB policymaker Benoit Coeure said on Thursday. "The Governing Council of the ECB expects interest rates to stay at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, while inflation should rise towards 2 percent over our projection horizon," Coeure said in the text of a speech for delivery in Paris.

ECB defends rate freeze, has 'clear view': board member

The European Central Bank defended on Wednesday its decision to hold interest rates steady this month, saying it had a "clear view" of the situation and would act if necessary. "We have a clear view of the situation and we will act when necessary," the ECB's chief economist Peter Praet told a conference. The ECB has come under fire for not easing monetary conditions further to avert deflation in the 18 countries that share the euro.

ECB to reveal bad loan hurdles for euro zone bank test: sources

By Laura Noonan DUBLIN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's stance on how bad loans are defined will be one of the biggest revelations to the euro zone's largest banks when it details on Tuesday how it will test balance sheets, three sources with knowledge of the tests told Reuters.

Banks to return 11.4 billion euro of crisis loans to ECB next week

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Banks will return 11.401 billion euros ($15.78 billion) in crisis loans to the European Central Bank next week, more than six times than the amount that was expected, accelerating the drain of extra cash out of the euro zone financial system. The amount banks will repay on March 12 beat this week's repayments of 3.012 billion euros and is more than the 2.1 billion forecast in a Reuters poll. <ECB/REFI>
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