ECB government bond buying programme ‘ongoing’: Trichet

FRANKFURT, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – The European Central Bank is
continuing with its government bond purchase programme,
President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday, declining to
comment on bond market pressure for the programme to be greatly
increased.

“The Securities Market Programme (SMP) is ongoing, I repeat
— ongoing,” Trichet told a news conference after the ECB’s
monthly policy meeting, but added: “I won’t comment on the
observations of market participants.”

Hopes that the ECB would rush through new anti-crisis
measures, such as expanding its government bond buying, had
helped the euro find its feet (EUR=: ) and lifted stock markets.

The ECB started purchasing bonds through its Securities
Market Programme (SMP) in May and has so far spent 67 billion
euros ($88 billion), most of it during the first three weeks of
the programme.

It has not said what it has bought or how much it intends to
spend although traders say it increased Portuguese bond buys
this week.

Asked on whether the bond programme is temporary, Trichet
said the ECB’s actions had to be “commensurate” to what happened
on monetary policy transmission channels.

The scheme has been a source of division within the ECB.
Bundesbank heavyweight Axel Weber has repeatedly criticised the
tactic and in October called for the programme to be scrapped,
saying it had not worked. [ID:nLDE69B266])

(Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

ECB government bond buying programme ‘ongoing’: Trichet