ECB ups weekly emergency bond buying to €21bn

European Central Bank HQ in Frankfurt

The European Central Bank bought €21.1 billion of bonds under its pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) in the week to March 17.

That’s an increase from €14 billion a week earlier — and above the €18 billion weekly average since the PEPP programme started last year.

According to Reuters, the euro zone’s central bank bought a total of €28 billion worth of bonds last week across its stimulus programmes — with PEPP accounting for the bulk of the purchases at €21.05 billion.

The ECB is ramping up its stimulus efforts in an attempt contain borrowing costs and convince investors it will do what it takes to restrain bond yields.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said in a blog post: “We retain the option to adjust the pace of purchases at any point in time in response to potential changes in market conditions.

“While much progress has been made and we can see light at the end of the tunnel, we cannot be complacent …

“The near-term economic outlook is subject to uncertainty, relating in particular to the dynamics of the pandemic and the speed of vaccination campaigns.

“We therefore stand ready to adjust all of our instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation moves towards our aim in a sustained manner, in line with our commitment to symmetry.”