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Lagarde apologises to ECB colleagues for message mistake - FT report

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde gestures during a news conference on the outcome of the meeting of the Governing Council, in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has taken the unusual step of apologising to her fellow policymakers for comments that roiled the Italian bond market last week, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing two sources.

Lagarde spooked investors by saying the ECB was not there to help virus-stricken countries such as Italy in the debt market, drawing fury from political and financial circles that later forced her and the ECB to row back.

The ECB President, who started in the role in November, apologised to the rest of the Governing Council at the start of a conference call about a different matter on Friday, the FT said, adding the move was welcomed by several policymakers.

An ECB spokeswoman declined to comment.

(Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Alexander Smith)