European shares fall on lack of detail over ECB asset purchase plan
* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 1.6 percent
* Investors had expected more ECB details on ABS plan
* Banks, oils sectors among top decliners
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - European equities extended losses late on Thursday, with a benchmark index hitting a six-week low after the European Central Bank gave less details about its plan to buy secured debt than the market had expected.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank would begin to buy covered bonds (CB), a form of secured debt, from banks in mid-October and purchase asset-backed securities (ABS) at some point in the fourth quarter of the year.
The planned moves are an attempt to kick start a languishing euro zone economy, despite misgivings in Germany and elsewhere, after cutting interest rates last month. The ECB left its main refinancing rate at 0.05 percent on Thursday.
"Investors had hoped for more than they got (from Draghi's press conference). The fact is that the euro zone is in a liquidity trap in which additional monetary policy measures just aren't working," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of private client research at Charles Stanley
"The banking sector has weakened notably as ABS/CB purchases are to be caveated, probably in a nod to Germany where opposition to the deterioration in the quality of the ECB balance sheet is well known." Continuación...