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ECB Leaves Interest Rates Steady, Still Planning to Trim QE

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(Kitco News) - The European Central Bank’s Governing Council Thursday left interest rates unchanged and did not alter plans to start scaling back its quantitative-easing program in autumn.

The interest rates on the main refinancing operations, the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain at 0%, 0.25% and minus 0.40%, respectively.

“The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2% over the medium term,” said a policy statement from the ECB.

Meanwhile, the ECB reiterated its past statement that net asset purchases, at the current monthly pace of €30 billion, will continue until the end of September. At that’s point, if conditions allow, the monthly pace of net asset purchases will be reduced to €15 billion until the end of December and then end. As at the last meeting, officials said the ECB would reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities for “an extended period of time” after the end of the net asset purchases.

ECB President Mario Draghi is scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday.

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