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6/14, 1:46 PM (Source: TeleTrader.com)
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ECB to halve QE, hold rates by end-summer 2019

The European Central Bank said on Thursday that it kept key interest rates unchanged and stressed it expects them to remain at "present levels at least through the summer of 2019." Policymakers repeated the commitment to maintain "favorable liquidity conditions" and added the asset purchase program, or quantitative easing, would be reduced by half when the current scheme expires at the end of September. The investment in bonds is scheduled to run at a volume of €15 billion per month by the end of the year. If the medium-term inflation outlook is confirmed, debt purchases would end, central bankers wrote.

The interest rate on the main refinancing operations remained at zero. The marginal lending facility and the deposit facility tools were held at 0.25% and a negative 0.4%, respectively. Investors are awaiting the press conference in Riga, Latvia, and whether ECB President Mario Draghi would reveal changes in macroeconomic projections or any more intentions on the hawkish side.

Principal payments from maturing bonds will be reinvested as long as necessary, the press release said.

Breaking the News / IT