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ECB Slows Asset Purchases Even Amid Draghi Balance-Sheet Pledge

The European Central Bank slowed asset purchases last week, underlining the challenge for policy makers trying to expand the institution’s balance sheet.

The ECB settled 233 million euros ($286 million) of asset-backed-securities purchases in the week ended Dec. 5, after spending 368 million euros in the first week of the program. The Frankfurt-based central bank also bought 3.126 billion euros of covered bonds, down from 5.078 billion euros the previous week.