ECB's Lagarde: ready to increase size of asset purchase programmes amid virus outbreak

March 19 (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday the ECB is ready to increase the size of its asset-purchase programmes by as much and as long as required in the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“We are fully prepared to increase the size of our asset-purchase programmes and adjust their composition, by as much as necessary and for as long as needed”, Lagarde wrote in the Financial Times newspaper

“We will explore all options and all contingencies to support the economy through this shock”, she wrote, describing the coronavirus pandemic as an unprecedented public health emergency.

The ECB has launched a 750 billion euro ($800.48 billion) emergency bond purchase scheme in a bid to stop a pandemic-induced financial rout from shredding the euro zone’s economy.

($1 = 0.9369 euros)

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