Report says ECB's losses increased last year

The European Central Bank, which posted a 2003 loss of 477 million euros (US $625 million), saw its net loss increase to at least one billion euros last year as a result of the weak dollar, according to the German Handelsblatt business daily.

If the numbers quoted in the report are correct, it would be the third annual loss posted by the eurozone central bank in the first few years of its existence.

As a result of the euro's 16 per cent rise against the dollar last year, the ECB was compelled t