February 2, 2016 / 6:28 PM / in 2 years

Mersch says no constraints on ECB in acting: WSJ

The new headquarters (R) of the European Central Bank (ECB) is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank does not face any limitations if it decides to act, a senior policy maker told the Wall Street Journal, warning that there could be a risk of low oil prices becoming entrenched.

“There are several factors which have intensified,” Yves Mersch, who sits on the ECB’s Executive Board, told the paper, referring to the weeks since December.

“One is the oil price ... That is something to assess - the volatility - whether you look through it or whether there is a risk of it becoming entrenched. The second is China and other emerging market economies.”

When asked whether the ECB would expand the range of securities it buys, Mersch said: “In terms of fantasy, the sky’s the limit.”

“But in the end, we have no constraint in the use, the diversity, or the volume of our toolbox as we see fit. I would not create any expectations in one direction or the other.”

Reporting By John O'Donnell; Editing by Alison Williams

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