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Alternative Market Briefing

ECB extends QE programme until March 2017

Friday, December 04, 2015

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Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Following the ECB’s policy meeting on December 3rd, its President Mario Draghi announced in Frankfurt the central bank would extend its €60 billion ($63.5 billion) a month bond-purchasing programme to at least March 2017. It was originally intended to last until next September. As the announcement signaled a longer period of low interest rates, European stocks tumbled and the euro jumped against the dollar.

Five decisions

The ECB decided that interest rates on the deposit facility will be lowered by 10 basis points to -0.30%. The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the rate on the marginal lending facility will remain unchanged at their current levels of 0.05% and 0.30% respectively.

With regards to the asset purchase programme (APP), Draghi said the monthly purchases of €60 billion will run until the end of March 2017, "or beyond, if necessary - until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term."

The ECB will reinvest the principal payments on the securities purchased under the APP as they mature, for as long as necessary, to contribute to liquidity and to an appropriate monetary policy stance.

In the public sector purchase programme, euro-denominated marketable deb......................

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