ECB agrees landmark sovereign bond-buy plan [Update]

The European Central Bank agreed on Thursday to embark on a quantitative easing (QE) program that will see it print money to buy up 60 billion euros worth of sovereign bonds from March until the end of September next year.

The money will include some from existing programs. Countries under a bailout program, such as Greece, will be included but with some additional criteria.

The ECB is launching the program with a view to buoying the flagging euro zone economy, where inflation has turned negative and – at minus 0.2 percent – is far below the central bank’s target of just under 2 percent.

“Under this expanded program the combined monthly purchases of public and private sector securities will amount to 60 billion euros,” ECB President Mario Draghi said at a news conference.

“They are intended to be carried out until end-September 2016 and will in any case be conducted until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation.”