The European Central Bank held its main interest rate at 0.75% on Thursday, deferring any cut in borrowing costs while it assesses the extent of the euro zone's economic downturn and waits for a cue to use its new bond-purchase programme. The bank has said it was ready to buy bonds of debt-strained governments such as Spain and Italy once they had signed up to a European bailout programme. So far no request has been made, but the announcement alone has calmed markets. A Reuters poll had given an 80% chance that the ECB would hold its main refinancing rate.
Spain completes its 2012 financing successfully
Spain sold 4.8 billion euros of debt including its first longer-term issue in 18 months on Thursday, enough to complete its 2012 financing programme and begin raising funds for next year as the government weighs seeking international aid. The sale included 20-year bonds for the first time in a year-and-a-half, a sign that there is interest in investment in Spain over a longer horizon, although those bonds, raising 731 million euros, yielded 6.328%, high by historical standards. The successful auction finished the country’s bond issuance programme for the year ahead of schedule.
German exports fall on euro zone crisis
German exports slid in September at the fastest pace since late last year, hit by declining demand among its crisis-wracked euro zone trading partners. Imports also fell, adding to evidence that the crisis is inflicting a heavy toll on
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