ECB Slows Bond Purchases

The European Central Bank slowed purchases of public-sector bonds, even after saying it would accelerate buying before liquidity dries up during Europe’s summer vacation period.

Holdings of government and agency debt under its quantitative-easing program climbed by 11.8 billion euros ($13 billion) to 134.2 billion euros in the week ended May 22, data on the ECB website showed on Monday. That’s the smallest increase in three weeks.

ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on May 18 that the central bank would increase the pace of its bond buying this month and next to counter lower liquidity in July and August. The comments helped German 10-year bunds, the region’s benchmark sovereign securities, bring to an end their longest run of weekly declines since June 2012.