ECB Says QE Program to Be Suspended Over December Holiday Period

  • Asset purchases to be `somewhat frontloaded' to compensate
  • No asset buying between Dec. 22 and Jan. 1 inclusive, ECB says

The European Central Bank will step up its asset purchases in December to compensate for an almost-two-week pause over the holiday period.

“The Eurosystem will temporarily pause APP purchases between Dec. 22, 2015, and Jan. 1, 2016, inclusive, in anticipation of lower market liquidity during this period and in order to reduce possible market distortions,” the Frankfurt-based ECB said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. “Purchases will resume on Jan. 4, 2016. Moreover, purchases during the period Nov. 27 to Dec. 21 will be somewhat frontloaded to take advantage of the relatively better market conditions expected during the early part of the month.”

Since the 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) quantitative-easing program began in March, the ECB has been ready to adapt the pace of purchases, normally around 60 billion euros per month, to accommodate swings in market activity. The purchases of government bonds, covered bonds and asset-backed securities are intended to help the ECB attain its inflation target of just under 2 percent.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE