Mario Draghi

ECB extended stimulus as 'steady hand' in turbulent year

Top officials of the European Central Bank wanted to extend stimulus measures in December in part to protect the eurozone economy from what could be a turbulent political year at home and globally.

The concerns were recorded in a written account published Thursday about the bank's Dec. 8 meeting. That's when it decided to extend its bond-buying stimulus program by nine months until the end of this year, though reducing monthly purchases to 60 billion euros ($63 billion), from 80 billion euros.

The bank's governing council thought more stimulus would provide a "steady hand" to support the economy of the 19 countries that share the euro against "shocks emanating...