ECB unlikely to ease policy further: traders

October 24, 2016 7:48 AM EDT

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo


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(Reuters) - The European Central Bank will refrain from easing policy any further this year or next, according to a majority of euro money market traders polled by Reuters on Monday.

Last week, the ECB kept its ultra easy policy unchanged but left the door open to further easing in December.

The findings stand in contrast to a wider poll of economists taken two weeks ago which predicted an extension and some tweaks to the ECB's asset purchase program was likely in December. [ECB/INT]

Monday's renewed optimism among traders could be a result of earlier data which pointed to an upturn in business activity and prices, a welcome print for policymakers who have long struggled to boost growth and inflation in the currency bloc.

Eleven of 17 traders, who answered an extra question in the latest survey said the ECB would not ease policy further.

Five traders said the ECB would add to its stimulus next year, mostly by extending its monthly asset purchases program beyond the current end date of March 2017. Only one trader said the ECB would act this year.

The regular survey of 20 traders showed the ECB is expected to lend 7.0 billion euros ($7.6 billion) at its three-month tender and 35.0 billion euros at the weekly operation.

That compared to 7.01 billion euros maturing this week of the three-month operation and 34.43 billion euros of the weekly tender.

($1 = 0.9184 euros)

(Reporting by Rahul Karunakar; Polling by Purnita Deb; Editing by Toby Chopra)



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