Too soon to talk end of ECB bond buys - Lagarde

The ECB left policy unchanged as expected at its governing council meeting, keeping copious stimulus flowing even as it faces questions over how it might claw back support once the pandemic-stricken euro zone economy reopens.

The bank did not on Thursday (April 22) discuss any phasing out of its huge emergency bond buying program, President Christine Lagarde told reporters, adding such a discussion is "simply premature."

She also noted the divergence between outlooks in the euro area versus the U.S. economy, which faces a quicker recovery from the pandemic with more significant fiscal stimulus.

Lagarde also took the opportunity to comment on the co-leader of Germany's Greens, Annalena Baerbock, and her bid to become chancellor in September's elections, the first time the left-leaning party has sought the top job in its 40-year history.