ECB programme is a “game-changer”, say experts
While the eurozone crisis is far from over, the asset-purchasing strategy announced by the ECB yesterday has been met with a great deal of optimism by industry commentators.
ECB president Mario Draghi’s bond-buying programme, which aims to cut the borrowing costs of debt-burdened eurozone members, has been welcomed by economists and given the market a much-needed boost - at the time of writing the FTSE 100 is up 0.21 per cent today, consolidating its 2.1 per cent increase yesterday.
While few experts have gone as far as to say the strategy will put the region on the road to recovery, many believe it has greatly improved the macro backdrop:
Rupert Watson, head of asset allocation at Skandia Investment Group
"With the crisis spreading and deepening, the ECB has at last found a good reason to intervene more forcefully in a way that it believes is consistent with the treaties that bind it."
"Without the short-dated government bond purchases, maintaining monetary stability would become much more difficult and as a result these purchases are fully justified."
"In a sense, the eurozone's central bank now feels it is able to act like a normal central bank and lead the region's response to the crisis, rather than respond to it. This is enormously significant and could be the beginning of the end of the debt crisis."
"While growth in the problem countries is likely to remain flat or negative for the next few years, we think that the ability of the problem to undermine the global economy or global financial markets is likely to be much diminished."
Ted Scott, director of global strategy at F&C
While the ECB’s announcement lays the foundation for change, Scott believes this is just the first step on a long road to recovery.
"The new strategy buys time and will enable the member states to fund themselves more effectively but, with a slowing global economy and uncompetitive exchange rate, it will not contribute to higher GDP or lower debt ratios."
"In this respect, for that to occur a more fundamental change in strategy is needed, which is something the politicians have to decide upon."
"The way of achieving a stable and sustainable solution will require more fundamental policy decisions than what the ECB delivered yesterday."
Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer at Rathbones
believes that more action must be taken for Europe to fully recover.
"Mario Draghi has played a cool poker-hand here, and is keeping his cards close to his chest. Peripheral yields have responded positively, as expected, but confidence remains dependent on whether, or how, structural issues are addressed."
"The bond-buying programme is a positive step, but markets still need evidence that economies are starting to move in the right direction."
"The ECB has done what it does best and talked-up the market, and while all is quieter on the European front, expect investors to turn their attentions to the US."
Scott Thiel, deputy chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock
"The ECB’s announcement was – as they say in America – 'everything and a bag of chips' meaning that it effectively delivered everything we were looking for and more."
"As discussed many times, ECB bond purchases cannot be the only response by EU policy makers to the crisis in the EMU."
"However, as a near-term tool, the outright monetary transactions programme (OMT) is a critical and necessary way of lowering volatility so countries have time to make longer-term improvements to their fundamentals."