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ECB says public sector programme purchases now 26.3b euros

[FRANKFURT] The European Central Bank said on Monday it has spent 26.3 billion euros (S$39 billion) on bonds in a new programme to pump more than one trillion euros into the 19-country economy.

The plan to print money to buy sovereign bonds - known as quantitative easing (QE) - is aimed at lifting eurozone inflation from below zero back up towards the ECB's target of just under 2 per cent.

Under the programme, the ECB aims to purchase 60 billion euros a month of securities until September 2016, or beyond if needed to see a sustained adjustment in the inflation path back towards the ECB's target.

The ECB said that its covered bond purchase programme totalled almost 60 billion euros as of March 20. Its asset-backed securities (ABS) programme totalled 4.008 billion.