ECB Ends Historic QE | May Survives No-Confidence Vote
Published December 13, 2018
The European Central Bank has brought an end to its quantitative easing programme and kept rates on hold, promising protracted stimulus for an economy struggling with an unexpected slowdown and political turmoil. ECB kept its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.00% and maintained the key deposit facility at -0.40%.
Prime Minister Theresa May survived a humiliating challenge to her leadership, winning a secret ballot, with Tory members of Parliament backing her by 200 to 117. The win bought her more time to try to sell her Brexit deal to a deeply divided parliament.
Italian bonds rallied after the government bowed to pressure to reduce its deficit target for 2019, to stave off EU sanctions. The country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, proposed cutting the target from 2.40% to 2.04%.
Oil prices fell as the International Energy Agency said it’s too early to tell whether output cuts by OPEC and its allies will prevent a surplus, echoing a similar outlook by the producer group itself. WTI crude prices have hit a low of $50.35.