Moscow. June 8. INTERFAX.RU – the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep key interest rates at the end of the June meeting, which coincided with the expectations of the majority of the experts. The loan interest rate was left at zero, interest rate on deposits – at minus 0.4 percent, the rate on margin loans is 0.25%.
Also, the ECB has kept the volume of asset purchases under the quantitative easing program (QE) at 60 billion euros a month, said the Central Bank’s announcement.
However, the ECB statement following the meeting, there is no word on what rates could be lowered again if necessary, despite the fact that in recent press releases, the wording is always present. Credit Suisse analysts called it a “small step forward” to curtail incentive programs.
“The governing Council expects the key ECB rates will remain at current levels for a long time and will remain at this level for a long time after the cessation of asset purchases,” reads the press release. QE is scheduled for early next year.
Now the focus of investors will be directed to the press conference of the ECB head Mario Draghi, which will start at 15:30 GMT. In his speech he, in particular, will publish new forecasts of inflation and GDP growth in the Eurozone.
Previously the Agency Bloomberg with reference to informed sources reported that the Central Bank may lower inflation forecast for 2017-19 years to 1.5% from the current 1.7 percent, 1.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. The reason for this step may be weaker-than-expected rise in fuel prices.
Experts do not expect the ECB’s significant adjustments to the forecast for economic growth in the currency bloc. According to the March forecast Eurozone GDP will grow by 1.8% in 2017, 1.7% in 2018, and 1.6% in 2019.
The Euro to US dollar declined by 0.3% 15:00 GMT, to $1,1218 after the meeting of the ECB compared to $1,1257 at the end of trading on Wednesday. The composite index of the largest companies in the Eurozone Stoxx Europe 600 rose during trading on 0,15%, to 389,78 points.