The European Central Bank held its key interest rates and its quantitative easing (QE) program steady, matching investor expectations.
Despite question after question from reporters in a Q&A session following the announcement, ECB President Mario Draghi continued to affirm there had been “no discussion” regarding the question of when the bank’s trillion-euro bond-buying program would be wound down.
The only concessions to the tapering talk were a comment that it would “not last forever” and that although an “abrupt” end to purchases had never been discussed, he considered it “unlikely”.
Prior to the announcement, the majority of observers had already been looking beyond today’s meeting, to a greater likelihood of changes being declared at its final get-together of the year on 8th December.
The sell-off of bonds in major markets, particularly the U.K., the U.S. and Germany, which has gained steam in recent weeks, has taken some of the immediate pressure off of Europe’s central bank, and its president, to introduce further easing measures immediately.