APTOPIX Germany European Central Bank

The European Central Bank has left interest rates and its quantitative easing programme unchanged at its governing council meeting on Thursday. The decision came against a backdrop of inflation reaching the bank’s goal of just under 2 per cent for the first time since early 2013.

Mario Draghi, ECB president, who was under pressure from the council’s hawks, stepped back from the prospect of more rate cuts.

Key points

  • ECB main rate remains at 0.00%, deposit facility at -0.40%
  • QE bond buying programme continues till at least end of 2017
  • Monthly QE due to drop from €80bn to €60bn from April as previously announced
  • ECB keeps long-term inflation forecasts unchanged
  • Draghi says “no signs yet of a convincing upward trend in underlying inflation”
  • Draghi takes more hawkish tone on monetary policy

 

Reuters

The European Central Bank has scaled back its quantitative easing programme from €80bn to €60bn a month from April 2017 and will extend it to the end of next year, in a move that responds to hawks’ concerns about ultra-loose monetary policy but which could unsettle markets. It has held rates as expected.

The ECB insists the step is not equivalent to the US move to gradually “taper” QE that unsettled markets in 2013, instead it argues the move could see it buy more bonds under the extended programme.

Key points

  • ECB holds rates at 0% but extends QE to December 2017
  • Level of bond buying programme cut to €60bn per month from April 2017
  • Asset purchase parameters broadened, including halving of minimum maturity to 1 year
  • Sovereign bond prices recover as Draghi insists tapering has not been discussed
  • Euro slides against the dollar

By Gemma Tetlow and Gavin Jackson

 

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Announces Interest Rate Decision

The European Central Bank’s governing council has kept interest rates on hold and once again reaffirmed plans to maintain its quantitative easing programme at €80 billion to March 2017 or beyond if needed.

President Mario Draghi SAYS that the next meeting on 8 December “will define the coming months” as he warns the eurozone is subject to “downside risks”. He says there has been no discussion about extending QE beyond next March but that “an abrupt end” to quantitative easing is “unlikely”. He says the governing council had discussed “various options in case we are confronted with a shortage of purchasable bonds in some jurisdictions”

Key points

  • Interest rates are kept on hold in October

  • The ECB’s asset purchase target is unchanged at €80bn per month

  • Draghi signals next meeting in December will be key

  • Draghi says no discussion about extending QE beyond next March

By Mehreen Khan and Gavin Jackson