As expected, unlike the March ECB decision, today there were no surprise, with the central bank announcing no changes to its three rates, and said that it sees rates at present levels "at least through the end of 2019", in line with last month's announcement, while expecting to reinvest debt for an extended time after the first rate hike. In other words, absolutely no changes.
The full statement is 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 end 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.
The Governing Council intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase programme for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.
The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 14:30 CET today.
And since there was no mention of either the TLTRO or potential tiering of rates, attention now turns to Mario Draghi in 45 minutes when the ECB president will likely discuss these issues in broad terms.