Auction shows massive demand for ECB cash

The European Central Bank's (ECB) first-ever auction of six-month loans was more than four times oversubscribed, indicating the high level of tension in the region's money markets.

177 banks made bids totalling €103 billion ($161 billion) for the €25 billion on offer in Wednesday's auction.

Successful bidders paid an average borrowing cost of 4.61%, three-quarters of a point above the overnight six-month swap rate - which factors in market expectations of the ECB's rate decisions over the nex