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ECB cuts bond spend

THE European Central Bank cut back its spend on sovereign bonds to €14.3bn last week, from a record €22bn the previous week, as yields on Italian and Spanish debt fell to sustainable levels.

The Frankfurt-based bank had begun to buy Italian and Spanish securities in an attempt to prevent the eurozone debt crisis spreading to these two countries.

But the bank's move cooled tensions in the market and yields on 10-year bonds in Italy and Spain dropped to less than 5pc.