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ECB's Lagarde refuses to pre-empt policy strategy review, positive on trade relations with US

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Thursday 23 Jan 2020

ECB's Lagarde refuses to pre-empt policy strategy review, positive on trade relations with US

(Sharecast News) - The European Central Bank's recently arrived boss refused to be drawn on her own views regarding the monetary authority's policy strategy review, which it had formally launched just an hour before.
As expected by some analysts, earlier the ECB announced that at 1430 GMT it would publish further details regarding the start of the review.

At the press conference following Thursday's policy decision, Christine Lagarde said her role was to harness the different views around the table on "how to deliver" the policies that the euro area required in order to generate the tightest possible consensus.

And she did not want to preempt those discussions, anticipating that the review would take about a year to carry out.

Nonetheless, in response to one question from journalists, she emphasised that the ECB's inflation target was indeed "symmetric".

Lagarde also sounded a positive note on the outlook for US-Eurozone trade relations.

In response to another journalist's query, she said that she had drawn "some comfort" from the preliminary contacts between the US President and European Commission chief, Ursula Von der Leyen at Davos, especially as regards the "tone and determination" of those talks.

On the subject of negative interest rates, especially after the central bank of Sweden recently moved out of negative interest rates and back to zero, the ECB chief said that "every country or region has its own idiosyncracies or logic".

She also indicated that the unanimous view of the ECB's recently adopted decision to tier the interest rate on excess deposits held with the authority was that it had been "extremely effective".

On Thursday, the ECB kept all its main policy rates unchanged, as had been widely anticipated.

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