Market news

10 June 2021

ECB to plot next phase of pandemic bond buying

Bloomberg reports that ECB officials will decide on Thursday just how much monetary stimulus the euro zone needs as it emerges from coronavirus lockdowns over the summer.

After ramping up their bond-buying program in the second quarter to keep borrowing costs in check, it’s time for officials to settle on a new pace for the months ahead.

Most economists expect them to lock in the current pace for another three months. The ECB is unlikely to publicly set a specific target though, forcing investors to read between the lines of the policy statement, new economic forecasts, and President Christine Lagarde’s press conference.

The backdrop is a resurgent economy fueled by higher vaccination rates and falling infections that are reviving European restaurants, shops and beaches. That’s also driving a jump in prices, raising the question of when the ECB should act to keep inflation under control.

The key phrase to look out for is whether the ECB expects to buy debt under its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme at a “significantly higher pace than during the first months of the year.”

Net buying under the 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.3 trillion) program is currently running at about 20 billion euros a week, up from 14 billion euros a week at the start of the year.

Most economists say they no longer expect a significant reduction in the coming quarter, after policy makers including Lagarde rebuffed the notion that the economy could cope.

Material posted here is solely for information purposes and reliance on this may lead to losses. Past performances are not a reliable indicator of future results. Please read our full disclaimer.

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