Jean-Claude Trichet gestures during a press conference

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet gestures during a press conference in Frankfurt yesterday. The ECB bought extra insurance against the economic recovery running out of steam by extending emergency funds for commercial banks even as it hiked its growth and inflation forecasts. Much of the liquidity provided by the ECB is being demanded by Irish, Portugal, Spanish and Greek lenders in countries affected by the sovereign debt crisis and likely to show poor growth performances this year, analysts said. The ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at 1.0 percent.

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