Plausible that ECB can end bond buys this year - Weidmann

German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann speaks at an Austrian National Bank event in Vienna, Austria, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

BERLIN (Reuters) - Expectations that the European Central Bank will wind down its bond-buying programme by the end of this year are plausible, the head of Germany’s central bank said on Wednesday.

“For some time now, financial market participants have been expecting that the asset purchases will end before 2018 is out,” Jens Weidmann told a conference in Berlin via a video message.

“As things stand, I find these market expectations plausible,” he said, adding that this would be the first step towards normalising monetary policy.

He said the challenge for the ECB was to communicate this process adequately without causing turmoil in markets.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Reinhard Becker