ECB To Keep Rates Unchanged "Through Summer Of 2019", End QE By 2019

In the day's final central bank announcement, the ECB followed in the BOE's footsteps, if not those of the CBRT which delivered a shocking rate hike surprise, and kept rates unchanged as expected while forward guiding that it expects to keep rates "at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary" a repeat of recent language. 

In terms of the timing of the ECB's QE unwind, there were no surprises either, with the central bank repeating that "after September 2018, the Governing Council will reduce the monthly pace of the net asset purchases to €15 billion until the end of December 2018 and anticipates that, subject to incoming data confirming the medium-term inflation outlook, net purchases will then end"

Overall, a snoozer of an announcement, with no notable reaction in the EUR or other asset classes.

Full statement below.

At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (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 expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.

Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council will continue to make net purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the current monthly pace of €30 billion until the end of this month. After September 2018, the Governing Council will reduce the monthly pace of the net asset purchases to €15 billion until the end of December 2018 and anticipates that, subject to incoming data confirming the medium-term inflation outlook, net purchases will then end. The Governing Council intends to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP for an extended period of time after the end of the net asset purchases, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.

Below is the redline from the prior statement:

While no fireworks are expected either from Mario Draghi's press conference at 8:30am, look for the ECB to cut its GDP forecasts, discuss the current situation in Italy and deflect questions about the ECB's reinvestment policies as previewed earlier.