LONDON — The European Central Bank stepped up efforts to contain the continent's government debt crisis as bank president Jean-Claude Trichet announced it would prolong measures to provide ready cash to banks and steady the financial system.
Markets were initially disappointed Thursday when Trichet did not say the bank would go even further and increase its purchases of government bonds. The euro sagged almost a cent during his news conference.
But it quickly bounced back, trading higher on the day on market chatter that the bank might in fact be quietly buying bonds of financially troubled eurozone countries — despite Trichet's reticence on the issue.
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