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European Central Bank extends quantitative easing at reduced levels

The European Central Bank (ECB) yesterday announced it will extend its quantitative easing (QE) to September 2018, with the possibility of a further extension “if necessary”.

The ECB’s bond-buying scheme will continue at a monthly level of €60bn until the end of this year, but will be cut down to €30bn per month as of January 2018.

According to Politico Europe, the continuation of QE was agreed against pressure from “hawkish ECB policymakers, notably from Germany, [who] have been pushing for an early end to QE.”

ECB President Mario Draghi justified the extension of QE and the continued low benchmark interest rate on the deposit facility at -0.40 percent with the need “to preserve the very favourable financing conditions that are still needed for a sustained return of inflation rates.”

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