Make Kitco Your Homepage

'Premature' to start talking about interest rate cuts - ECB's De Cos

Kitco News

MADRID, Nov 20 (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Pablo Hernandez de Cos said on Monday it was "premature" to talk about the possibility of interest rate cuts or make any forward-looking predictions about monetary policy.

The ECB ended an unprecedented streak of 10 consecutive interest rate hikes, opting to keep the rate steady at its last meeting in October.

It had lifted rates by a combined 4.5 percentage points since July 2022, leaving its deposit rate at a record high of 4%, to combat runaway price growth.

De Cos said the ECB's assessment was that this level maintained for long enough could be sufficient to reach the bank's inflation target of 2% in the medium term.

"It is absolutely premature to start talking about interest rate cuts," De Cos told a financial event.

As markets bring forward rate cut bets, key conservative members of the ECB's governing council - such as Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel - argued on Friday that the bank should avoid cutting rates too early as inflation remained high and the impact on growth was still relatively benign.

Investors are now pricing in 100 basis points of rate cuts for next year with the first one coming as soon as April, a big shift from the late October cut that was first projected in July.

De Cos said ECB policymakers did not consider it "the most appropriate thing to do given the current high uncertainty" to issue elements of explicit forward guidance.

"I do not envisage it in the short or medium term," he said.

Reporting by Jesús Aguado and Emma Pinedo; editing by Andrei Khalip, Aislinn Laing and Toby Chopra

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.