Money Minute, Thursday 12 September: ECB interest rate decision

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Welcome to Thursday’s Money Minute – in which we preview the big stories of the day in just 60 seconds.

It’s all about the European Central Bank today. The announcement is made at 1:45pm UK time. But the real market-moving meat will come in ECB boss, Mario Draghi’s press conference at 2:30pm.

Markets expect an interest rate cut as a bare minimum. The key eurozone rate is already sitting at negative 0.4%, but Draghi is expected to take it further into negative territory.

But that’s just the beginning. Markets are betting on a much bigger stimulus package – the “big bazooka” as it’s been nicknamed. This is likely to take the form of more quantitative easing, where the ECB prints money to buy government bonds.

The market is hoping for at least €30bn of QE a month, potentially combined with measures to prevent negative interest rates from hurting the profitability of eurozone banks.

The risk is that Draghi’s fellow policy makers will object to the scale of the stimulus and prevent him from acting as aggressively as he would like. If that happens, stocks are likely to fall.