FRANKFURT?European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will find it easier to extend the bank's ?1.7 trillion quantitative-easing program next month if Donald Trump secures victory in U.S. elections, analysts said.
ECB policy makers are preparing for a key meeting on Dec. 8, where they are expected to decide on the future of their ?80 billion-a-month bond-purchase program, which is due to end in March.
Some policy makers, notably Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, have indicated they are skeptical of extending the program again, citing possible risks and side effects for the eurozone's ?10 trillion economy.
However, the financial-market uncertainty resulting from an unexpected Trump victory would give ECB President Mario Draghi "another argument to do what he wants to do anyway, [which is to] prolong the full QE program by up to six months at the December meeting," said Holger Schmieding, an economist at Berenberg Bank in London.
Financial markets were rattled last month by a media report suggesting that the ECB might start to slow down, or taper, its bond purchases. Mr. Draghi dismissed the report as ill informed.
Such tapering "is even less likely than before" if Mr. Trump wins, said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Banque Pictet & Cie SA in Geneva.
"The ECB is likely to err on the side of caution" in December by announcing a six-month extension of QE at the current pace of ?80 billion a month, Mr. Ducrozet said.
Policy makers are also expected to decide next month on changes to the design of QE, to ensure the ECB doesn't run out of bonds to buy. Any financial market stress could strengthen the case for "market-friendly options," such as deviating from buying bonds according to the size of each eurozone economy, Mr. Ducrozet said.
To deal with any short-term market volatility resulting from the U.S. election result, the ECB has dollar swap-lines in place with the U.S. Federal Reserve. Those are designed to improve liquidity conditions in global dollar funding markets by allowing foreign central banks to deliver dollars to domestic banks during times of market stress
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 09, 2016 03:05 ET (08:05 GMT)
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