Weber out of running for ECB: reports

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Germany's central bank chief Axel Weber is out of the running to be the next head of the European Central Bank as he is leaving to join private lender Deutsche Bank, reports said on Wednesday.

Weber and Italian central bank chief Mario Draghi were considered the two most likely successors to succeed Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet when he steps down in October.

The succession comes at a delicate time for the 17-nation eurozone as it works to regain the confidence of financial markets following debt crises in two member states, Greece and Ireland.

The Bundesbank declined to comment, and said "rumours" that it would release a statement later on Wednesday on Weber's future were untrue.

Deutsche Bank also refused to comment.

The reports sent the euro briefly lower against the dollar on Wednesday, and the Frankfurt stock exchange showed a sharp loss in midday trading.

© 2011 AFP

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