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ECB should have signaled intent to end asset buys, Nowotny says

European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member and OeNB governor Ewald Nowotny addresses a news conference in Vienna, Austria, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should have signaled a clear intent to end asset buys when it extended purchases until September but left the door open to another extension, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said in remarks broadcast on Friday.

Nowotny, who sits on the ECB’s Governing Council and heads the Austrian National Bank, told Austrian broadcaster ORF that he agreed with his German counterpart Jens Weidmann, who made a similar point the day after the ECB announced its decision.

“In this respect I am in absolute agreement with my German colleague,” Nowotny said when asked about Weidmann’s remarks.

The ECB said last month it would halve the pace of its bond purchases from January but also extend the 2.55 trillion euro buying program until the end of next September.

“This new purchasing program is valid until September 2018 and in my view we should then go about bringing it to an end if the economy develops as we currently expect it to,” Nowotny said, echoing remarks he made last week.

Reporting by Francois Murphy and Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Balazs Koranyi