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LONDON (TheStreet) -- The European Central Bank has announced more than €1 trillion ($1.15 trillion) in stimulus for the eurozone, in the form of combined monthly asset purchases of €60 billion ($69 billion) until at least the end of September 2016.

The asset purchase program will begin in March, and will include investment-grade euro area sovereign, agency and EU institution securities, ECB president Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

Draghi confirmed that the ECB had reached a compromise, and that euro area central banks will buy their own sovereign debt, meaning that stronger economies will not need to share the risk of heavily indebted peripheral countries.

"In addition, 20% of any losses on assets bought by central banks will be shared throughout the eurozone," Draghi said.

Initial market reaction was mostly positive. U.S. stock futures moved higher, while the euro fell to 1.15 to the dollar.

Facing slow growth and low inflation throughout the eurozone, the ECB has been poised to launch an asset purchase program since late last year. Market expectations have been rising steadily over the past two weeks. 

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The early consensus was that the bank would announce €500 billion in stimulus, but leaks this week suggested that the program would rise to €1.1 trillion, with the bank buying €50 billion in assets per month until the end of 2016.

"I think that recalibrated market expectations," Abi Oladimeji, head of investment strategy at Thomas Miller Investments said before the announcement.  "I think the markets will be looking for something that is around that trillion euro ballpark."

The ideal program would be unconstrained in size, would front-load the stimulus by quickly pumping a lot of money into the markets, and would be designed so that all of the eurozone economies would share the risk of sovereign bonds.

Markets had been unsteady on fears that the stimulus could be neutered by internal disputes and concerns by Germany -- the eurozone's largest economy -- that stimulus might allow weaker economies to loosen their austerity regimes. The compromise buying plan seeks to allay those fears.

"Given the politics and the difficulty in achieving consensus for the eurozone, that is an acceptable halfway house," Oladimeji said. "It goes without saying that it kind of waters down the potency of the ECB's plan."

Analysts said that credit markets had already priced in a sizable program of quantitative easing before the announcement, but that uncertainty ahead of the Greek elections on Sunday had prevented a greater tightening of spreads.

The Greek elections are the next big speed bump for European markets and could dampen any market euphoria resulting from Thursday's announcement.

"For the eurozone, the problems they face are not problems that will disappear overnight as a result of QE," Oladimeji said. "The troika, the IMF, the EC and the ECB will have to accept the reality that Greece, basically, cannot repay its debt. Greece is not in a position to grow out of its debt. That reality has to sink in at some point."