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The Latest: ECB Seen in No Rush to Taper Stimulus Program

Thursday, 20 July 2017 08:38 AM

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

One analyst says the European Central Bank seems in no rush to start decreasing its extraordinary bond-buying stimulus program.

Carsten Brzeski at ING says that the main message from Thursday's unchanged policy statement is that the ECB would like to let market participants "start their summer vacation." Investors had interpreted earlier statements by ECB President Mario Draghi as opening the possibility of an earlier withdrawal, and sent the euro and long-term bond interest yields higher. Thursday's statement "was a clear sign that the ECB does not want to pour more oil on the small taper tantrum fire seen in financial markets over the past week weeks," Brzeski wrote.

The ECB says it will keep purchasing 60 billion euros ($69 billion) per month through year end, and longer if necessary. Market analysts expect the purchases to decrease and then end next year, and for Draghi to send a clear signal about that at the Sept. 7 meeting.

1:45 p.m.

The European Central Bank has left its interest rate benchmarks and policy statement unchanged, underlining the bank's unwillingness to roil markets with premature signals about an exit from its stimulus efforts as the economy recovers.

The decision was announced Thursday after a regular meeting of the bank's 25-member governing council at its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

The monetary authority for the 19 countries that use the euro currency said in its policy statement that it will keep injecting 60 billion euros ($69 billion) in newly printed money into the economy every month at least through the end of the year, and longer if necessary.

Markets are now waiting for the post-decision news conference held by bank president Mario Draghi for any clues about the bank's plans.

10:35 a.m.

European Central Bank head Mario Draghi will face questions on Thursday about when and how the bank might withdraw its stimulus measures.

Draghi is not expected to give much away at his news conference following the meeting of the bank's 25-member governing council, at which no changes in the stimulus are expected.

That's out of concern that early talk about a stimulus exit could send market interest rates and the euro higher — prematurely blunting the effect of the bank's 60 billion euros ($69 billion) in monthly bond purchases.

The bank has said the purchases will run at least until the year's end. Market analysts expect the bank to then start tapering purchases. The bank has said it won't raise its benchmark interest rate from zero until the purchases end.

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The Latest on the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting (all times local):2:25 p.m.One analyst says the European Central Bank seems in no rush to start decreasing its extraordinary bond-buying stimulus program.Carsten Brzeski at ING says that the main message from...
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Thursday, 20 July 2017 08:38 AM
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