Euribor steady as ECB policymakers cool on rate cut

FRANKFURT Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:38am GMT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Key Euribor bank-to-bank lending rates held steady on Thursday after Joerg Asmussen joined a clutch of other European Central Bank policymakers in playing down the chances of further ECB rate cuts.

Asmussen, a member of the ECB's Executive Board, said late on Tuesday he would be "very reluctant" about the ECB cutting its deposit rate - now at zero - any further, adding that "our (monetary) policy is very accommodative."

Another board member, Yves Mersch, said this week he did not see the logic of a debate about the ECB cutting its main rate from a record low of 0.75 percent. A third board member, Peter Praet, said earlier this month there is little room to cut.

The ECB kept rates on hold this month despite new forecasts suggesting the euro area economy will contract next year as it has this.

On Thursday, three-month Euribor rates, traditionally the main gauge of unsecured bank-to-bank lending, was unchanged at 0.183 percent.

The six-month rate was unchanged at 0.318 percent while the one-week rate held steady at 0.078 percent. The overnight Eonia rate dipped to 0.070 percent from 0.072 percent.

Dollar-priced bank-to-bank Euribor lending rates were firmer, with three-month rates rising to 0.56583 percent from 0.55462 percent and one-week rates up at 0.37250 percent from 0.36077 percent.

Euribor rates are fixed daily by the Banking Federation of the European Union (FBE) shortly after 0900 GMT.

(Reporting by Frankfurt newsroom)

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