World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's conservative newspapers on Friday accused ECB chief Mario Draghi of writing a "blank cheque" to troubled euro zone states that could put the entire currency at risk, with top-selling Bild warning his policies could make the euro "kaputt".
The Italian president of the European Central Bank unveiled a new plan on Thursday to lower the borrowing costs of euro zone states like Spain and Italy by buying their bonds.
Germany's central bank opposes the ECB's move. Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported Draghi while insisting Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann's public criticism of the bond-buying has been useful too.
For the country's conservative newspapers, many of which have taken an increasingly euro-sceptic stance as the three-year-old euro zone debt crisis wears on, Draghi's latest measures went too far.
"Help without end for crisis countries," said Bild on its front cover, adding that Draghi had signed a "blank cheque" and that his policy endangered the independence of the ECB. It cited German politicians saying the ECB had gone beyond its mandate of safeguarding the stability of the currency.
"Draghi sets off Germany's alarm bell," was the headline in the conservative daily Die Welt.
Business daily Handelsblatt, which often voices concern at the financial burden of the bailouts on German taxpayers and business, had a cover story on "the Rise, Fall and Resurrection of the Bundesbank" and gave prominence to Weidmann's warnings.
Inside, Handelsblatt criticised "the democratic deficit of the euro rescuers" - and linked the ECB's chosen path to next week's ruling by Germany's Constitutional Court on the legality of the euro zone's new bailout mechanism and budget rules.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a sounding board for Germany's monetary hawks, wrote that "the border between monetary and fiscal policy has been blurred" and called the argument that bond-buying was within the ECB's mandate "far-fetched".
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, attending an awards ceremony for Draghi late on Thursday, reiterated the government line that using monetary policy to solve the euro zone's fiscal problems could not be a permanent solution.
But senior Merkel MPs like her deputy floor leader Michael Fuchs insisted the ECB was acting within its mandate, telling Reuters: "As long as there is conditionality, it is okay."
Bourses in both Paris and Frankfurt dipped after a report from data monitoring company IHS Markit showed Eurozone private sector business activity slowed sharply in June while staying in expansion mode.
Analysts said that while the downturn in the headline readings was disappointing, the economy continued to put in a strong performance.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.
Eastern Mediterranean gas deposits discussed at high-level meeting in Thessaloniki
While a "rebalancing of the market" was "underway," it was "at a slower pace than originally anticipated," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly oil market report.