The European Central Bank caught financial markets off-guard on Thursday by announcing it would trim asset buys from April next year, even as it reserved the right to increase purchases again if the euro zone's recovery faltered. The ECB said it would cut monthly purchases to 60 billion euros from the current 80 billion euros but extend the buys until the end of 2017. Markets had expected purchases to stay at 80 billion but only for 6 more months, suggesting a compromise between hawks and doves in the Governing Council.
By Guy Faulconbridge LONDON (Reuters) - Islamic State militants are using turmoil sown by Russian President Vladimir Putin's bombing in Syria to plot attacks against the United Kingdom and her allies, Britain's foreign intelligence chief said on Thursday. In his first major public speech since winning the top job at the Secret Intelligence Service in 2014, MI6 chief Alex Younger said Russia and Bashar al-Assad were hindering the defeat of militants by attempting to make a "desert" out of Syria.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the European Central Bank's policy meeting (all times local):