FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank bought 12.921 billion euros (9.5 billion pounds) worth of public sector assets in the 13th week of its quantitative easing programme, increasing the pace of its purchases for a third straight week.
The ECB said on Monday it had settled a total of 159.600 billion euros of purchases of mainly sovereign bonds as of June 5, up from 146.679 billion euros a week earlier.
The small increase in weekly buying, which had been flagged to the market last month, failed to stop a broad selloff in euro zone government bonds last week. This was fuelled by an increase in inflation expectations and by the ECB’s stated unwillingness to intervene further to calm market volatility.
As part of the programme, the ECB also bought 282 million euros of asset-backed securities, taking the total to 7.494 billion, and 2.169 billion euros of covered bonds, whose total reached 87.277 billion euros.
The ECB aims to purchase 60 billion euros worth of assets each month until September 2016, or beyond if needed to see a sustained adjustment in the inflation path back towards the ECB’s target of just under 2 percent.
Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Gareth Jones