Moments ago the ECB kept all three rates on hold, however in a dovish addition, it kept its current forward guidance which some analysts had expected may be scrapped, by noting that "the Governing Council continues to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases." As a result, the EURUSD has sign a modest drop on the announcement while Bunds futures gained once algos noticed that contrary to some expectations, the forward guidance would remain.
Full statement below:
At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively. The Governing Council continues to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.
Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council confirms that it will continue to make purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the current monthly pace of €80 billion until the end of this month and that, from April 2017, the net asset purchases are intended to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim. The net purchases will be made alongside reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP. If the outlook becomes less favourable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the programme in terms of size and/or duration.
The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 14:30 CET today.
As usual, now attention turns to the Draghi press conference in 45 minutes, which was previewed earlier this morning .