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ECB underlines readiness to take further action if necessary

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank remains prepared to take various policy options to support the euro zone economy, President Mario Draghi said on Thursday. "We are ready to consider all available instruments," Draghi said at a news conference after the ECB kept its interest rates unchanged. He made no reference in his opening statement to specific policy options, but the ECB has already said it can cut interest rates again.

Mersch leads hawks in stressing ECB's policy limits

By Sakari Suoninen and Paul Carrel FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's scope of action is limited, Executive Board member Yves Mersch said on Tuesday, leading resistance from the bank's hawks to fresh policy measures to support the economy. With euro zone inflation running at 0.7 percent, well below the ECB's target of just under 2 percent, a raft of ECB speakers have said over the last week they are open to taking fresh steps to aid a recovery.

ECB says Draghi didn't block risk weighting proposals

The European Central Bank rejected a media report Monday which said its president Mario Draghi blocked proposals to change the risk weighting of government bonds held by European banks. Currently, government bonds enjoy a privileged, risk-free regulatory status at banks, and do not require capital provisions. Critics -- including ECB governing council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann -- say such an arrangement only reinforces ties between weak banks and indebted governments.

ECB's Draghi: need European backstops for bank tests

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Friday that in addition to national backstops, joint European backstops need to be in place before the ECB's bank tests are finished in one year's time. In the coming year, European authorities will stage a series of exercises to test the ability of its lenders to withstand a future crisis without resorting to taxpayer-funded bailouts.

Essential to exit low rates at the right time: ECB's Weidmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - It is essential that the European Central Bank exits its low interest rate environment at the right time, ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said on Thursday. "For me, it is essential that we come out of the situation of a low interest rate environment at the right time," Weidmann, chief of Germany's Bundesbank, said during a question and answer session at an event organized by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

BoJ holds fire on fresh easing, says Japan economy recovering

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) on Thursday held off launching fresh easing measures after a two-day policy meeting, and said the nation's economy was "recovering moderately". The BoJ said it would not tinker with its massive asset-buying scheme, launched in April, which is aimed at stoking long-tepid growth in the world's third-largest economy. kh/pb/st

BOJ to maintain massive stimulus, rosy economic outlook

By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan policymakers, feeling some relief from a pickup in exports and the sliding yen, are set to maintain their ultra-loose monetary policy and upbeat economic projections on Thursday.

No need for further rate cut talk for now

Speculating about additional interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank makes no sense so soon after the surprise move earlier this month, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Wednesday. Speaking to the weekly Die Zeit in an interview to be published on Thursday, Weidmann said: "The ECB's governing council has only just eased its monetary policy again. I don't think it makes sense to ring in the next round straight away."

ECB shouldn't signal next move so soon after cut: Weidmann

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should not signal any further easing of its monetary policy for now as it has only just cut interest rates, Bundesbank Chief Jens Weidmann said in a newspaper interview published on Wednesday. The ECB cut interest rates to a record low earlier this month and said it could take them lower still to prevent the euro zone's recovery from stalling after inflation tumbled to 0.7 percent - well below its target of just under 2 percent.

ECB has asset purchases available but other options easier: Mersch

By Marc Jones and Ana Nicolaci da Costa LONDON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has the option to buy assets outright if needed but because there is no joint euro zone bond to buy, other instruments are easier to use, Executive Board member Yves Mersch said on Friday. The ECB cut its main interest rate to a record low last week, alarmed by a sharp drop in inflation, and calls have grown for the institution to follow other central banks which have spent billions on asset purchases to get their economies going.
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