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ECB’s Lagarde rows back from comment that sent Italian yields higher

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is committed to avoiding any fragmentation in the euro zone, ECB Chief Christine Lagarde said on Thursday, apparently rowing back on earlier comments that the ECB was “not here to close spreads”.

“I am fully committed to avoid any fragmentation in a difficult moment for the euro area,” she told CNBC, according to the ECB’s Twitter account. “High spreads due to the coronavirus impair the transmission of monetary policy.”

Italian bond yields spiked on her earlier comments, extending an already dismal week as the country is seen by investors as one of the euro zone’s weakest.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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