The market for corporate borrowing via commercial paper contracted to the least in almost two months as financial issuers relied more on central bank financing after monetary easing steps by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

The seasonally adjusted amount of U.S. commercial paper fell $7.2 billion to $1.008 trillion outstanding in the week ended yesterday, the third consecutive decrease, the Federal Reserve said today on its website. It's the longest stretch of declines since the period ended June 20 and the lowest level since the market touched $1.003 trillion in the period ended July 25, according to Fed data compiled by Bloomberg.

As investor demand has declined for short-term obligations from banks on concern that Europe's sovereign-debt turmoil will taint balance sheets globally, financial borrowers have turned more to central banks for funding. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Sept. 6 that policy makers agreed to an unlimited bond-purchase program. The Federal Reserve said on Sept. 13 it will expand its holdings of long-term securities with purchases of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month.

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