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ECB to hold interest rate meetings every six weeks

The European Central Bank said Thursday it will hold its regular policy meetings every six weeks from January instead of every month at present.

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank said Thursday it will hold its regular policy meetings every six weeks from January instead of every month at present.

The ECB will also start publishing "regular accounts" from the same date, central bank president Mario Draghi told a news conference.

"The frequency of our monetary policy meetings will change to a six-week cycle, from January 2015. Moreover, we announce our commitment to publish regular accounts of the monetary policy meetings, which is intended to start with the January 2015 meeting," Draghi said.

So far, the ECB has always held rate-setting meetings on the first Thursday of every month.

But the complexity of the situation in the eurozone since the outbreak of the financial and debt crisis and the enlargement of the single currency area is forcing the ECB to adapt, Draghi explained.

The ECB wanted to stamp out expectations on the part of the financial markets for action every time the central bank's governing council met, he said.

"Our job isn't finished, not at all. But the issue is whether we should have each and every month expectations of action," he said.

Those expectations in themselves could trigger market behaviour "which has nothing to do with fundamentals.

"Our monetary policy measures are not taken on the basis of short term considerations," he said. "The monthly frequency was simply just too tight."

There were also logistical reasons for the change, the ECB chief continued.

With the decision to publish "minutes" or "records" of previous meetings, extending the period between meetings would give financial markets time to digest the minutes before new meetings were held, Draghi said.

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