By Patrick Donahue – Jul 1, 2012
Europe’s political leaders turn to the European Central Bank this week, seeking assistance from monetary policy makers to reinforce gains following euro-area leaders’ moves to calm markets and accelerate the currency bloc’s integration.
The Frankfurt-based ECB may offer help on July 5, with economists expecting an interest rate cut. The bank has a track record of action following political progress, including bond purchases that followed bailout programs and unlimited three- year loans on the heels of pledges supporting fiscal discipline.
European Union leaders ushered in the strongest rally in the single currency and in Spanishbonds this year after agreeing at their June 28-29 summit to loosen bailout rules, lay the foundations for a banking union and break the link between sovereign and banking debt through the direct recapitalization of lenders. EU leaders will try to maintain the muscle-flexing by seeking to convince investors that the euro area will do everything it can to end the three-year crisis.