PARIS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's (ECB) first interest rate rise could take place at some point through the summer of 2019 at the earliest if inflation conditions warrant a move, ECB policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Wednesday.
"Net asset purchases should end in December; the first interest rate rise could take place at the earliest through the summer of 2019 depending on the inflation outlook," Villeroy told a financial conference in Paris.
The ECB said in June it expected its key interest rates to stay unchanged at least "through" the summer of 2019, leaving investors guessing whether it could mean a decision during the summer or only later.
Financial markets have since positioned for a first rate move closer towards the end of 2019 despite the ECB's guidance, largely echoed by Villeroy in his comments.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)