ECB Denies Discussing Fed-Style Bond Programs

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The European Central Bank denied a German newspaper report on Friday that it was considering launching a new bond purchase program under which it would buy debt of all 17 euro zone countries.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung said there were discussions at working group level at the ECB about buying bonds of all euro zone governments according to their share of gross domestic product in the currency bloc.

That would add a new element to the ECB's stimulus program akin to the quantitative easing adopted by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the newspaper said.

"The article is wrong," an ECB spokesman said. When ECB President Mario Draghi said in April the bank was looking at its options "from a 360-degree perspective", he was referring to ways of reviving lending to the real economy, he said.

Draghi was not referring to quantitative easing, the spokesman said.