The European Central Bank (ECB) just left its deposit rate untouched at -0.40% following the latest meeting of the bank’s governing council.
The decision was expected and any further easing measures would have been a huge shock to the markets.
Alongside leaving the deposit rate unchanged, the bank left the interest rate on its main refinancing operations and its marginal lending facility unchanged at 0.0% and 0.25% respectively.
While the decision isn’t at all surprising, markets in Europe and across the world will be waiting with bated breath to hear what ECB president Mario Draghi says when he answers questions from journalists later this afternoon.
Draghi will speak in Vienna at 2:30 p.m. CET (1:30 p.m. BST; 8:30 a.m. ET) and his remarks will be the main focus for European investors and policymakers this afternoon. Draghi will “comment on the considerations underlying these decisions ” according to an ECB statement released alongside the announcement.
He’s also expected to address the latest progress in Europe’s talks with Greece after the country’s creditors made a breakthrough last week. Some analysts now expect the ECB to resume lending to the stricken nation as something of a reward.
As part of the meeting, the ECB could also increase its inflation forecasts thanks to oil’s recent rise to $50 per barrel.
Investors will also be interested in any more information on the bank’s corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP) of bond buying, announced in the ECB’s March meeting. In its statement released alongside the decision, the bank said: “Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, on 8 June the Eurosystem will start making purchases under its corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). Moreover, starting on 22 June, it will conduct the first operation in its new series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations.” Further information about the measures will be released after Draghi’s press conference, the statement said.
Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid said in his early morning note on Thursday: “The ECB should actually be a relatively dull affair as they are currently in ‘wait and see’ mode with regards to previous policy actions. However all new info on the CSPP will be gratefully received by corporate bond investors.”
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