Markets Spike on Report ECB Is Weighing New Steps
Financial markets spiked higher Friday afternoon on a report that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is in talks with Germany's Bundesbank on new measures to ease the euro zone's continuing debt crisis.
Bloomberg reported that Draghi is set to talk with Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann about lowering interest rates and increased bond buying, among other measures.
The report added more fuel to the US stock rally, sent Treasury prices skidding and pushed the euro up sharply against the dollar.
An ECB spokesperson wouldn't confirm or deny the report but told CNBC that it was "normal" for Draghi to talk to other European central bank chiefs before they meet as members of the ECB governing council, which is similar to the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committe. Such a meeting is scheduled for next Thursday.
The report came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande pledged to do all in their power to protect the euro. The statement Friday came after the two leaders discussed the debt crisis by telephone
Draghi also pledged the day before to do whatever was necessary to protect the euro zone from collapse, which sent the markets and the euro higher on Thursday.
"Within our mandate, the ECBis ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough," he told an investment conference in London.
He said the central bank could fight unreasonably high government borrowing costs. This week has seen Spanish bond yields hit dangerously high levels.
"To the extent that the size of the sovereign premia (borrowing costs) hamper the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channels, they come within our mandate," Draghi said.
—Reuters contributed to this report.