Euribor rates tick up as ECB rate cut hopes fade

FRANKFURT Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:48am GMT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Key Euribor bank-to-bank lending rates ticked up on Friday after comments from a clutch of European Central Bank policymakers since the bank's monthly meeting eroded hopes for another official rate cut.

Joerg Asmussen, a member of the ECB's Executive Board, said last week 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 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.

Comments from ECB President Mario Draghi, saying that there had been a "wide discussion" in the Governing Council about rates, had fuelled expectation shortly after the policy meeting that the bank could cut rates further.

On Friday, three-month Euribor rates, traditionally the main gauge of unsecured bank-to-bank lending, ticked up to 0.186 percent from 0.185 percent.

The six-month rate inched higher to 0.320 percent from 0.319 percent while the one-week rate dropped to 0.082 percent from 0.089 percent.

Dollar-priced bank-to-bank Euribor lending rates were lower, with three-month rates falling to 0.55000 percent from 0.57462 percent and one-week rates down at 0.44000 percent from 0.63692 percent.

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

(Reporting by Frankfurt newsroom; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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