European Central Bank Bond Purchases Dwindle

Published February 13, 2012 3:54PM (EST)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank bought euro59 million in government bonds last week as it again made only modest use of a tool that has supported indebted governments during the eurozone debt crisis.

The purchases announced Monday compared to euro124 million from the week before and euro63 million the week before that.

The last time the bank bought more than a billion euros in bonds was the week ending Jan. 23, when it bought euro2.24 billion.

The bond purchases helped keep borrowing costs down for Italy and Spain during the worst of the eurozone debt crisis last year.

Since the start of this year, indebted governments have found it easier to borrow thanks partly to another ECB program that provided cheap loans to banks. Some banks used that money to buy government bonds.

By Salon Staff

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