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REFILE-ECB picks up pace of govt bond purchase programme

  (Fixes typos in dates in table)
 FRANKFURT, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank
raised the pace of its government bond purchases last week,
figures on Monday showed, spending 2.3 billion euros, the
highest amount in over a month.
 The pick-up pushes the total bought by the ECB since the
programme began in May to 76.5 billion euros. 
 While the weekly amount remains just a fraction of the
amounts the ECB was spending in the early stages of the
programme, it is a sizeble step up from the 113 million euros
spent the previous week.
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  For a graph of bond purchases click:  
  r.reuters.com/wum27q 
  For a graph of bond spreads click:
here
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 The ECB can buy government and corporate bonds from markets
under the programme but it has given no further details, such as
how much it could spend or how long it intends to buy for.
 The purchases are part of efforts to stave off Europe's debt
crisis and get markets back into order. Most economists believe
it is focusing its buying almost exclusively on euro zone debt
trouble spots Ireland, Greece and Portugal. 
 Sovereign bond spreads have fallen over the past week,
following well-received bond auctions in Portugal and Spain and
signs euro zone leaders are moving towards strengthening the
region's fiscal safety net.
 According to traders the ECB was also busy buying Portuguese
debt last week ahead of the country's closely watched bond
auctions.
 The ECB adds the caveat that its figures may not give the
full picture as the purchases take 2-3 days to be finalised.
 In an interview published on Monday, ECB policymaker
Athanasios Orphanides said that the programme may become
redundant if Europe's rescue fund is given the power to also
bond government bonds.
    Date    Bonds bought 
 14/05/2010     16.5 
 21/05/2010     10 
 28/05/2010      8.5 
 04/06/2010      5.5 
 11/06/2010      6.5 
 18/06/2010      4 2 
 25/06/2010      4
 02/07/2010      4
 09/07/2010      1
 16/07/2010      0.302
 23/07/2010      0.176
 30/07/2010      0.081
 06/08/2010      0.009
 13/08/2010      0.01
 20/08/2010      0.338
 27/08/2010      0.142
 03/09/2010      0.173
 10/09/2010      0.237
 17/09/2010      0.323
 24/09/2010      0.134
 01/10/2010      1.384
 08/10/2010      0.009
 15/10/2010      0 
 22/10/2010      0 
 29/10/2010      0 
 05/11/2010      0.771 
 12/11/2010      1.073 
 19/11/2010      0.713 
 26/11/2010      1.348 
 03/12/2010      1.965 
 10/12/2010      2.667 
 17/12/2010      0.603 
 24/12/2010      1.121 
 31/12/2010      0.164 
 07/01/2011      0.113 
 14/01/2011      2.313
 Total           76.5  
 (Reporting by Marc Jones)

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