Unnamed Eurzone central bank officials cited by BBG
An informal consensus has built at the ECB in the past month that asset buying will need to be tapered. according to a Bloomberg report.
The euro shot higher on the headlines, quickly to 1.1229 from 1.1160.
They say the ECB may gradually wind down asset buying in steps of 10 billion euros.
What's not entirely clear from the report is whether this is in the works, or if it's more of a plan to act when it's appropriate to begin tapering. My inclination is that it's the first option, which is a complete turnabout.
The thinking in the market was that the ECB was preparing to change its rules so it could continue buying bond beyond the planned program expiration in March.
Instead, they're talking about tapering in what could be a massive shift that leads to a large euro rally.
The sources cited in the story say tapering depends on the economic outlook and it's not decided. Part of the driving force is also that the ECB is concerned that governments are using ultra-loose monetary policy in order to delay reforms.
I think this is a huge bullish story for the euro, but be careful about denials.