ECB Drains 145.64 Billion Euros in Liquidity

The European Central Bank drained 145.64 billion euros from euro-zone money markets on Thursday, within its upper limit of 150 billion euros, aiming to keep short term interest rates in line with benchmark lending rates.

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A total of 49 banks bid to deposit funds overnight at a fixed rate of 4 percent, the ECB said on information page, and all bids were accepted.

The ECB accepted 141.565 billion euros in six-day deposits last week in an operation which matures on Thursday.

Traders had expected the ECB to intervene regularly to drain funds from the very short term-money market after it allotted a huge 348.6 billion euros in 16-day funds on Dec. 18 to ease year-end money market tensions.