In the week ending 21 July 2006, the decrease of EUR 25 million in gold and gold receivables (asset item 1) reflected the selling of gold by two Eurosystem central banks (consistent with the Central Bank Gold Agreement of 27 September 2004).
The net position of the Eurosystem in foreign currency (asset items 2 and 3 minus liability items 7, 8 and 9) decreased by EUR 0.5 billion to EUR 152.5 billion on account of customer and portfolio transactions.
The holdings by the Eurosystem of marketable securities of euro area residents denominated in euro (asset item 7) decreased by EUR 0.9 billion to EUR 88.7 billion. Banknotes in circulation (liability item 1) decreased by EUR 0.4 billion to EUR 586.2 billion. Liabilities to general government (liability item 5.1) rose by EUR 14.7 billion to EUR 79.6 billion.
The Eurosystem’s net lending to credit institutions (asset item 5 minus liability items 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 4) increased by EUR 13.8 billion to EUR 455.2 billion. On Wednesday, 19 July 2006, a main refinancing operation of EUR 321.5 billion matured and a new one of EUR 335 billion was settled.
Recourse to the marginal lending facility (asset item 5.5) was EUR 0.3 billion (compared with virtually nil in the previous week), while recourse to the deposit facility (liability item 2.2) was EUR 0.1 billion, which was approximately the same as in the preceding week.
As a result of all transactions, the current account position of credit institutions with the Eurosystem (liability item 2.1) remained virtually unchanged at EUR 168.3 billion.
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