Market Overview

ECB Cuts Rate To -0.3%; El-Erian Says It 'Did Not Go As Far As Markets Had Anticipated And Hoped'

ECB Cuts Rate To -0.3%; El-Erian Says It 'Did Not Go As Far As Markets Had Anticipated And Hoped'
  • The European Central Bank on Thursday announced a 10 basis point cut in the deposit rate to -0.3 percent, as expected.
  • The ECB also announced an extension of its QE program until at least March 2017.
  • Speaking to Benzinga, Mohamed El-Erian noted the ECB "did not go as far as markets had anticipated."

The ECB slashed its rates to -0.3 percent from a prior -0.2 percent. A negative rate implies banks must pay the ECB to hold its money. The ECB kept its main refinancing rate that is the rate at which banks pay to borrow money from the ECB, unchanged at 0.05 percent.

ECB President Mario Draghi also announced during a press conference that the central bank will extend its 60 billion euro a month bond-buying QE program to at least March 2017.

El-Erian: ECB 'Did Not Go As Far As Markets Had Anticipated'

Speaking to Benzinga, Allianz's Chief Economist Mohamed El-Erian suggested that the ECB decided to "venture deeper into experimental policy terrain" through a more negative deposit rate and extension of the QE asset-purchase program.

El-Erian continued that the ECB "did not go as far as markets had anticipated and hoped." The economist added that the "resulting disappointment" highlights the "need for investors to better internalize the delicate policy balance that the ECB and other central banks are having to strike."


The Financial Times reported at around 7:38 a.m. ET that the European Central Bank left its rates unchanged in a "shock decision." The report was surprising for two reasons: 1) market experts have been anticipating the ECB to further slash its rates, and 2) the ECB's announcement wasn't due to be released for another seven minutes.

The Financial Times corrected its error: "The article was one of two pre-written stories — covering different possible decisions — which had been prepared in advance of the announcement."


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