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News Summary: ECB chief says bank may buy bonds

The Associated Press

President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi addresses the media during a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, following a meeting of the ECB governing council concerning the further strategies in the European financial crisis. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

PROMISES: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday the bank would make a new effort to buy government bonds to drive down the high borrowing rates squeezing the continent's governments and urged leaders of the 17 countries that use the euro to use their bailout fund to do the same.

DISAPPOINTMENT: Financial markets were disappointed that there was no immediate action and that the ECB had few specifics to offer on its emerging plan. Stocks were sharply lower across Europe, while borrowing costs for heavily indebted countries such as Spain and Italy crept higher.

THE OUTLOOK: Draghi said ECB policymakers will work on a more detailed plan in coming weeks, including how much money to put into the effort to lower the interest rates on governments' short-term bonds. The ECB decided Thursday to keep its benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.75 percent.