Brussels — The European Central Bank (ECB) intensified its response to the coronavirus recession with a bigger-than-expected increase to its emergency bond-buying programme.

At a virtual meeting on Thursday, president Christine Lagarde and colleagues decided to expand the amount of purchases by €600bn and extended their duration until at least the end of June 2021. The majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg last week expected policymakers to boost buying by €500bn...

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