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ECB policymakers open to rate cuts if growth weakens: Sources

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FUKUOKA, JAPAN European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers are open to cutting its policy rate again if economic growth weakens and a strong euro hurts a bloc already bearing the brunt of a trade war, two sources said.

The ECB said last Thursday its interest rates would stay "at their present levels" until mid-2020 but ECB president Mario Draghi added rate setters had started a discussion about a possible cut or fresh bond purchases to stimulate inflation.

The apparently mixed message failed to convince investors. This sent the euro to a 21/2 month high of US$1.1347 against the US dollar.

Countering the euro's strength would be the main reason for a further cut to that deposit rate, a source said.

"I'll give you five reasons for a rate cut," the source said, and repeated "exchange rate" five times. - REUTERS