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Germany's Top Court Denies Request to Halt ECB Bond Buying

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10/18/2017 | 11:17am CEST
By Tom Fairless 

FRANKFURT--Germany's top court threw out a cease-and-desist request that could have halted the European Central Bank's giant bond-buying program, offering some comfort to ECB policy makers as they prepare to extend the purchases into 2018.

The Karlsruhe-based constitutional court ruled as "inadmissible" a request for a temporary injunction to the program, known as quantitative easing, in a statement Wednesday.

Granting a temporary injunction "would go beyond the mere safeguarding of the status quo and would be largely identical to a decision in the main case," the court said.

The injunction request is separate to a broader lawsuit that questions the legality of the QE program, which the German court referred in August to the European Union's top court in Luxembourg.

German plaintiffs have claimed the ECB is violating a ban on the direct financing of governments through its bond purchases.

German courts can't stop the ECB's stimulus programs directly, but they can prevent the involvement of Germany's Bundesbank, which holds around a quarter of the ECB's share capital.

Write to Tom Fairless at tom.fairless@wsj.com

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