FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank decided not to take any action at its meeting on Thursday because economic and monetary conditions had not changed enough to warrant it, ECB President Mario Draghi said.
The bank left interest rates unchanged but also failed, as many had expected, to suspend weekly operations to soak up money it spent on sovereign bonds at the height of the euro zone debt crisis, known as sterilization.
“The suspension of sterilization ... is one of the instruments that is in our list but we didn’t see any development in the money markets that would lead to that unwanted tightening of monetary conditions that would justify the use of this instrument,” Draghi told a news conference.
He also said a survey of conditions showed no major changes to prompt any moves.
“We saw our (economic) baseline by and large confirmed,” he said.
Pausing the so-called sterilization of the Securities Markets Programme (SMP) would have added around 175 billion euros in liquidity to the market.
Editing by Jeremy Gaunt