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ECB Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

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(Kitco News) - The Governing Council of the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged Thursday and stuck to its plan to end bond purchases by the end of the year.

The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain at 0.00%, 0.25% and minus 0.40%, respectively, the central bank said.

“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,” the bank said in its policy statement.

The Governing Council will continue to make net purchases under the asset purchase program at the current monthly pace of €30 billion until the end of this month, the ECB said. After September, the Governing Council will reduce the monthly pace of the net asset purchases to €15 billion until the end of December and anticipates that, subject to incoming data confirming the medium-term inflation outlook, net purchases will then end.

The Governing Council intends to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities for an “extended period of time” after the end of the net asset purchases, the ECB added.

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