May 14, 2018 / 7:20 AM / a year ago

ECB could freshen guidance as end of bond buys approaches - Villeroy

PARIS, May 14 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank could give fresh guidance on the timing it its first rate hike as the end of its exceptional bond purchases approaches, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Monday.

The Bank of France governor said that whether the decision to end of the ECB’s net asset purchases came at its September or December meeting was “not a deep existential question”.

With that decision nearing, he said that the ECB would adapt its guidance on interest rates, which currently states that they are to remain at current levels for an “extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases”.

Villeroy said: “As far as the first rate hike is concerned, we could give additional guidance on its timing, ‘well past’ meaning at least some quarters but not years, and additional guidance on its contingency on the inflation outlook.” (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Richard Lough)

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