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ECB aims to end bond-buying program by end of 2018

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 6/14/2018 William Watts
Mario Draghi wearing a suit and tie: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi© Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi

The European Central Bank on Thursday laid out plans to taper its program of monthly bond purchases later this year, aiming to bring them to a halt by the end of 2018.

At the same time, the ECB pledged to keep interest rates at present, ultra-low levels at least through next summer.

“The ECB’s announcement that it will end its asset purchases in December is probably a little bolder than markets had expected, but this is tempered by the pledge to keep interest rates on hold for more than a year,” said Jennifer McKeown, chief European economist at Capital Markets, in a note.

In a statement following a meeting in Riga, Latvia, the ECB’s Governing Council said it would continue to purchase 30 billion euros a month of bonds through the end of September, as planned. Then, if data is in line with the ECB’s medium-term inflation outlook, it plans to cut purchases to 15 billion euros a month through the end of December and then end them.

The decision sent the euro (EURUSD) on a rollercoaster ride, spiking to $1.1852 versus the dollar before falling back.

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