European Central Bank Declines to Consider Sudden End to Stimulus

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says the bank’s governing council “never discussed” whether the current bond-buying stimulus program would come to a sudden stop when the time comes to end it.

The purchases will be cut to 30 billion euros ( about $35 billion) from 60 billion euros in January and extended through September, and longer if needed. A gradual reduction after that could extend the duration of the stimulus.

Draghi had previous indicated a sudden stop was unlikely but on Thursday would not be drawn. “We haven’t discussed that,” he said during a question and answer session with journalists.

He also said the bank is “closely monitoring” financial stability risks that could stem from a long period of low interest rates.

Asked Thursday if he was concerned about financial bubbles, or unsustainable price rises, Draghi said that “the ground is fertile” for those risks but there were no “systemic” concerns.

He said there were “local spots where valuations appear to be stretched.” He added that it was reassuring that leverage — or investment backed by debt — was not increasing in the 19-country eurozone.

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