(Corrects FTSE MIB’s biggest one-day drop in first para to 19 months, not 18 months)
LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - European shares fell sharply on Thursday, with Italy’s FTSE MIB share index recording its biggest daily percentage drop in 19 months, 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.
“Draghi confirmed that purchases will take place at least over the next two years, but disappointed investors by not confirming the size of purchases. Overall, today’s ECB meeting confirms that governing council is now in wait and see mode,” Azad Zangana, European economist at Schroders, said.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed 2.2 percent lower at 1,337.44 points, the biggest one-day percentage drop in seven months, while Italy’s FTSE MIB index fell 3.9 percent to 19,894.88, the biggest percentage fall since early 2013. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Lionel Laurent)