Jun 11, 2021 - Economy

European Central Bank stays the course on interest rates

Photo of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. Photo: Horacio Villalobos/Getty Images

The European Central Bank said Thursday it would keep its key interest rates unchanged, and continue its emergency €1.85 trillion bond-buying program through at least March of next year.

Why it matters: The ECB appears to be signaling a longer timeline for maintaining its current level of market support than the Fed has in the U.S.

  • Investors are looking for clues as to which central bank(s) may take the lead on tapering — and how that could affect the others.

State of play: Reuters reported in May that ECB board members were headed toward a "showdown" at the June 10 meeting over continuing the emergency bond purchases.

  • Ultimately, the ECB "didn't look to hedge its statements, or look to pull back on support anytime soon," BMO's Yung-Yu Ma tells Axios.
  • The ECB expects to make purchases under the emergency program in the coming quarter "at a significantly higher pace than during the first months of the year," according to the statement.

Go deeper: Central banks are headed toward digital currencies

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