ECB announces major bond buying program

ECB announces major bond buying program
ECB president Mario Draghi. Photo: DPA
The Swiss franc edged higher against the euro on Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi announced the bank will buy €60 billion of European debt every month from March 2015 until September 2016.

"The combined monthly purchases of public and private sector securities will amount to €60 billion" Draghi told assembled journalists at a press conference in Frankfurt.

The bond-buying programme will continue "until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation which is consistent with our aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, two percent", he added.

Spending €60 billion a month for that long would mean the bank injecting over €1.1 trillion into the region's sputtering economy.

The euro immediately dropped sharply against the US dollar on the news, to below $1.15 – its lowest since 2003 – in a sign that the programme was more aggressive than markets had been expecting.

The Swiss franc rose to 1.01126 euros, but slipped against the dollar after several days of advances.