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Dec. 13, 2018, 7:51 a.m. EST

ECB affirms plan to stop bond buys at end of month; rates unchanged

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By William L. Watts

The European Central Bank on Thursday, as expected, affirmed its plan to bring its program of monthly asset purchases to a halt at the end of the month. The ECB left its key interest rates unchanged, also as expected, and in keeping with its continued pledge to leave rates at present levels at least through the summer of 2019. The ECB said it intended to continue fully reinvesting the proceeds from maturing securities "for an extended period" beyond the date it does start raising interest rates "and in any case as long as necessary to maintain favorable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation." ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Central European Time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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