ECB Announces Eurozone’s First Quantitative Easing Program

The European Central Bank has reportedly disclosed plans to launch the first ever Quantitative Easing program for the Eurozone. The report follows an ECB meeting held on Thursday.

ECB’s governing council has decided to launch its first and much-awaited Quantitative Easing (QE) program for the Eurozone, to help the distressed economy. According to the statement made today, the ECB will begin to purchase €60 billion worth of euro-denominated investment-grade bonds issued by Eurozone governments and agencies on a monthly basis, starting March 2015.

The program is aimed at providing monetary stimulus to the Eurozone. The ECB intends to end the program by September 2016, provided the Eurozone achieves the sustained path of ‘nearly 2%’ inflation goal.

Commenting on the quota each sovereign state is allowed to take part in the new scheme, Mario Draghi, the President of the ECB, said, “The purchases of securities issued by euro area governments and agencies will be based on the Eurosystem NCBs’ shares in the ECB’s capital key. Some additional eligibility criteria will be applied in the case of countries under an EU/IMF adjustment programme.”

Moreover, the Governing Council opted to change the pricing mechanism for the new “targeted long-term refinancing operations” (TLTROs). The council has removed the ‘10 basis point spread’ condition over the Eurosystem’s main refinancing operations (MRO) rate for the next six TLTROs. Furthermore, the body has decided to keep the ECB interest rate unchanged at 0.05%.

Following the press conference by Mr. Draghi, the euro had fallen around 1.27% as of 9:53 AM EST. The currency was currently trading at $1.146, compared to a high of $1.165 earlier. Following the price movement of the euro, the Guggenheim CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEARCA:FXE) was trading down by around 1.1% as of 10 AM EST.

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