ECB has not discussed reducing bond purchases: spokesman

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank’s decision-making body has not discussed reducing the pace of its monthly bond buying, ECB media officer Michael Steen tweeted on Tuesday, responding to a Bloomberg article.

Bloomberg had reported the ECB would probably wind down its 80-billion-euro ($90-billion) monthly bond purchases gradually before ending its quantitative easing program, citing unnamed officials at euro zone countries’ central banks.

“(The ECB’s) Governing Council has not discussed these topics, as (President Mario) Draghi said at last press conference and during testimony at the European Parliament,” Steen said in the tweet.

Reuters reported late last month the ECB would not abruptly stop buying bonds in March, indicated as the earliest possible end to the scheme, and some sort of extension, even at a lower pace of monthly purchases, was necessary.

Draghi said last month the ECB would look at ways to ensure the bond-buying program carries on smoothly, amid market fears of a scarcity of assets to buy in countries such as Germany.

An announcement on that is expected in December, when the ECB publishes its new staff forecasts.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Louise Ireland