In the week ending 1 February 2008, the decrease of EUR 160 million in gold and gold receivables (asset item 1) reflected the sale of gold by one Eurosystem central bank (consistent with the Central Bank Gold Agreement that came into effect on 27 September 2004) and a net purchase of gold coin by another Eurosystem central bank.
The net position of the Eurosystem in foreign currency (asset items 2 and 3 minus liability items 7, 8 and 9) decreased by EUR 0.2 billion to EUR 151.7 billion on account of customer and portfolio transactions. On 31 January 2008, one US dollar liquidity-providing operation matured and, as announced by the ECB in a press release dated 10 January 2008, a new operation of USD 10 billion was settled, with a maturity of 28 days. These operations were conducted by the Eurosystem in connection with the temporary reciprocal currency arrangement (swap line) between the ECB and the Federal Reserve System.
The holdings by the Eurosystem of marketable securities of euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 7) increased by EUR 1.3 billion to EUR 99.3 billion. Banknotes in circulation (liability item 1) rose by EUR 3.1 billion to EUR 652.6 billion. Liabilities to general government (liability item 5.1) decreased by EUR 16.3 billion to EUR 47.8 billion.
The Eurosystem’s net lending to credit institutions (asset item 5 minus liability items 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 4) decreased by EUR 8.7 billion to EUR 435.2 billion. On Wednesday, 30 January 2008, a main refinancing operation of EUR 175.5 billion matured and a new one of EUR 167.5 billion was settled. On Thursday, 31 January 2008, a longer-term refinancing operation of EUR 50 billion matured and a new one of EUR 50 billion was settled.
Recourse to the marginal lending facility (asset item 5.5) was virtually nil (compared with 0.5 billion in the preceding week), while recourse to the deposit facility (liability item 2.2) was EUR 0.5 billion, which was approximately the same as in the preceding week.
As a result of all transactions, the current account position of credit institutions with the Eurosystem (liability item 2.1) increased by EUR 5.8 billion to EUR 198.5 billion.
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