FRANKFURT, Jan 3 The key euro-priced
bank-to-bank lending rate fell on Friday as banks started the
new year with solid liquidity buffers, which they had
accumulated to ward off year-end market tension.
Banks took 168.662 billion euros from the European Central
Bank at its extended weekly refinancing operation on Monday,
more than the 140 billion euros money market traders had
forecast in a Reuters poll.
They also returned less than the full value of the ECB's
former government bond purchase programme in the weekly
sterilisation round on Monday.
The ECB made efforts to avoid any liquidity squeeze towards
the end of the year and suspended repayments of its ultra-cheap
loan until Jan. 15.
Excess liquidity - the amount of money in the market beyond
which banks need for their day-to-day operations - rose to 282
billion euros on Friday from 269 billion the day before.
That was down from over 600 billion euros at the start of
last year before falling to about 150 billion towards the end of
Concerns about the drop have supported Euribor rates since
mid-November, though a spike in excess liquidity to just above
200 billion euros immediately prior to Christmas and towards the
end of the year eased the upward pressure.
On Friday, the three-month Euribor rate,
traditionally the main gauge of unsecured bank-to-bank lending,
fell to 0.280 percent from 0.284 percent.
The six-month Euribor rate eased to 0.381
percent from 0.387 percent, and the shorter-term one-week rate
dropped to 0.177 percent from 0.183 percent.
Overnight Eonia fell to 0.152 percent on Thursday from
0.446 percent previously.
Euribor rates are fixed daily by the Banking Federation of
the European Union (FBE) shortly after 1000 GMT.
* For a table of the latest Euribor fixings for terms of one
week to one year, double click on
* For a table of the previous day's fixings of EONIA swap
rates, which show market expectations for future overnight
lending rates, double click on
* For graphs of historic Euribor and EONIA swap rates, right
click on the links in angle brackets below, and select 'Related
(Reporting by Frankfurt newsroom)