Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank. Photo: Getty Images
  • The European Central Bank increased its Pandemic Emergency Purchase programme by a further 600 billion euros (R11.4 trillion) on Wednesday.
  • Markets were largely expecting a 500 billion euros increase.
  • The new package takes the ECB's total announced monetary stimulus to 1.35 trillion euros.
  • ECB also extended its horizon for net purchases until at least June 2021.
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The European Central Bank announced added a further 600 billion euros (R11.4 trillion) to its coronavirus rescue plan Thursday, bringing the total stimulus package to an astonishing 1.35 trillion euros .

Markets were expecting a 500 billion euros increase to the ECB's so-called Pandemic Emergency Purchase programme.

The European Central Bank said in a statement: "In response to the pandemic-related downward revision to inflation over the projection horizon, the PEPP expansion will further ease the general monetary policy stance, supporting funding conditions in the real economy, especially for businesses and households."

The ECB also extended the horizon for net purchases under PEPP until at least June 2021.

The euro to dollar exchange rate is up 0.2% at 1.13. The rand was last trading slightly weaker at R19.05/euro. 

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