U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 17 mins

'End dictatorship' protester crashes ECB news conference

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A woman protesting against European Central Bank policy showered ECB President Mario Draghi with paper and briefly shut down his regular news conference on Wednesday, before being carried away.

"End the ECB dictatorship," the woman, who has not yet been named, shouted, throwing what appeared to be confetti and sheets of paper at the startled central banker.

Her T-shirt bore a similar message, spelling it "Dick-tatorship".

Feminist activist group FEMEN, known for topless protests against what it sees as male "economic, cultural and ideological occupation", claimed responsibility.

The woman, who flashed a V-for-victory sign and smiled as two men in grey suits bundled her away holding her arms and legs, was detained by Frankfurt police.

The police said she is 21 and from Hamburg.

Draghi held up his hands as protection when the woman launched her protest, but was otherwise relatively unruffled. The news conference started again shortly afterwards.

ECB news conferences are usually sombre affairs, attended by reporters concerned with technical matters such as quantitative easing and asset-backed securities.

"The rest of the press conference could hardly match the excitement of the first minutes," investment bank ING said of Wednesday's event.

#Draghi became a trending hashtag on Twitter - a rare event for a central banker.

(Reporting by Caroline Cropley; Writing by Jeremy Gaunt; Editing by Louise Ireland)