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ECB head says no deal on bond buys

Draghi 'surprised' at market interpretation of earlier remarks By The Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) ' The head of the European Central Bank says there's no deal with eurozone governments for the bank to step up government bond purchases in return for political leaders reaching a deal on tougher rules to prevent governments piling up debt.

Draghi said he was "surprised" at market interpretation of remarks he made last week, in which he said "additional steps" could follow agreement on a new eurozone debt pact.

Markets took the remarks to mean the bond buys would increase if leaders agree on a pact at a summit starting later Thursday.

Bond buys would lower borrowing costs for indebted governments. But the bank has said it's up to governments to fix their finances and become clearly creditworthy.

The statements came after the bank cut its key rate by a quarter point to 1.0 percent.

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