ECB sets up $820B bond-buying program amid coronavirus

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched an emergency €750 billion ($820 billion) package to stem the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under a new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), the asset buying will be taking place until the end of 2020, according to a statement on Thursday.

It will include all the asset categories eligible under the existing asset purchase program (APP), it said.

The bank will also buy government and company debt across the eurozone, including Greece and Italy.

"Extraordinary times require extraordinary action. There are no limits to our commitment to the euro. We are determined to use the full potential of our tools, within our mandate," Christine Lagarde, the head of the ECB said.

Although the ECB has taken measures, it could not prevent markets from getting into a panic, putting pressure on the Bank to back Europe's economies further.

The ECB made it clear that "it will terminate net asset purchases under PEPP once it judges that the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year."

The bank also stressed that purchases will be conducted in a flexible manner, allowing for fluctuations in the distribution of purchase flows over time, across asset classes and among jurisdictions.

In recent weeks central banks and governments around the world have unveiled major economic rescue plans in order to make markets calm down.

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