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ECB keeps interest rates on hold

ECB keeps interest rates on hold

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http-%2f%2fcom-ft-imagepublish-prod-s3-amazonawsCentral bank maintains readiness to extend QE programme beyond March if necessary.

The European Central Bank has kept interest rates on hold and reiterated it will continue its €80bn a month asset purchasing programme until “at least” next March, as it seeks to balance lacklustre economic growth against the drawbacks of further monetary policy loosening.

The ECB’s governing council, meeting on Thursday in Frankfurt, left its benchmark main refinancing rate at zero. The deposit rate remains at minus 0.4 per cent.

Mario Draghi, ECB president, met the media on Thursday at 13.30 BST, amid widespread interest as to whether the council has discussed plans to prolong its quantitative easing programme.

 

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The biggest changes would involve buying more expensive bonds — raising the threat of losses by the central bank — or switching to a system where the bonds of more highly indebted countries could be bought in more substantial quantities.

Neither move would be without controversy and either could revive spats between the council’s hawks, led by Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann, and the ECB’s top officials, such as Mr Draghi.

 

fonte FinancialTimes.com

 

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