ECB Urged to Keep Options Open as It Winds Up Stimulus

France’s top central banker has warned the European Central Bank to take a “gradual and pragmatic” approach to ditching its crisis-era stimulus, as the world’s monetary policymakers react to fears of a global economic slowdown, the Financial Times reported. In dovish remarks François Villeroy de Galhau, the Banque de France governor and a member of the ECB’s governing council, said in Luxembourg on Thursday that the ECB should keep its “options open in the face of current uncertainty”. The bank has kept interest rates at record lows since 2016 but last month stopped expanding its €2.6tn bond purchase programme, in a step towards normalising its policies after the financial crisis. The intervention comes after US Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday indicated that they might slow the pace of rate rises this year in response to market gyrations over fears that global economic expansion has peaked. Central banks face a delicate balancing act as they continue to withdraw their support at a time when fears of a global economic slowdown are mounting. Read more

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