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Shopping Cart Shows ECB Buying Italy Over France as Bonds Mature

  • July data holds clue for how future purchases may change
  • Bank’s monthly bond-buying constrained by debt available

The European Central Bank has altered its 60 billion-euro monthly shopping list, providing the first big clue to what investors can expect as its pile of maturing bonds grows.

Should policy makers stick with July’s buying pattern, they look set to boost their already-large support for the securities of more debt-laden countries as re-investments from bond maturities rise. That’s good news for the some of the region’s peripheral economies. The central bank slowed purchases of French debt last month as 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion) of the nation’s liabilities it held fell due, but it boosted the amount of Italian securities it bought.