Trichet flags ECB rate rise with "strong vigilance"

Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Jean-Claude Trichet scotched speculation on Thursday that the European Central Bank may delay interest rate rises because of Greece's plight and the contagion threat it poses, saying the bank was in "strong vigilance" mode.

"The current monetary policy is accommodative and ... as I said we are in a state strong vigilance," Trichet told the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels.

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The ECB meets for a policy meeting next week.

The phrase "strong vigilance" has regularly been deployed to signal a rate hike at the next monthly meeting.

Euro zone data, due at 0900 GMT, are forecast to show inflation ticked up to 2.8 percent this month, well above the ECB's target of close to but below 2.0 percent.

The euro hit a fresh three-week high against the dollar in response, while it also remained supported as Greece moved a step closer to securing international aid after voting in favor of austerity measures.

(Writing by Mike Peacock; Editing by Toby Chopra)