Monday, 16 July, 2018

Euro climbs ahead of ECB meeting, Fed-driven…

ECB calls halt to quantitative easing, despite 'soft' euro The European Central Bank just called time on its €2.5 trillion stimulus programme
Kenneth Drake | 17 June, 2018, 11:43

The euro has dropped sharply after the European Central Bank said it will end its bond-buying stimulus program after December.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.68 Japanese yen from 110.65 yen while the euro was flat at $1.1568.

Chinese stocks led the losses, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite index plumbing a 20-month low, as investors anxious about the economic damage from the trade tensions with the United State.

The euro was 0.35 percent higher at $1.1608.

The Asia Pacific MSCI index ex-Japan edged down 0.3%, with many regional markets shrugging off a strong close on Wall Street.

Overall, analysts said the ECB's exit announcement from bond buying had been well-handled, as it prompted no drastic market reactions.

The euro was headed for its worst weekly loss in 19 months after the European Central Bank signalled on Thursday it will keep interest rates at record lows into at least mid-2019, even as it pledged to end its massive bond purchase scheme by the end of this year. Although it might seem like a positive development, markets' enthusiasm for the Euro sank when it appeared that interest rates would remain stagnant through the summer of next year.

The single currency was hammered on trading floors after the ECB's announcement Thursday, which was accompanied by a cut in its eurozone growth outlook, citing rising protectionism and global trade fears.


US President Donald Trump has made up his mind to impose "pretty significant" tariffs and will unveil a list targeting $50bn of Chinese goods on Friday, an administration official said.

Moreover, the President of the European Central Bank committed to subdued interest rates at record low levels for "as long as necessary" to reach the 2% target rate of inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 49.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,151.49, but the S&P 500 gained 4.48 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,780.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 50.68 points, or 0.66 percent, to 7,746.38. After lifting interest rates to 2pc, its policymakers geared markets up for two more increases in borrowing rates in the U.S. this year through its dotplot projections.

Italy's new populist government is a coalition between the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the anti-immigration League.

Mindful of the Bank's two disastrous hikes in 2011 that exasperated the Eurozone's debt crisis, the Bank will seek to balance raising rates with aggravating the debt.

Across the Atlantic, the US Federal Reserve moved to increase interest rates, responding to strong retail sales.

Oil prices were little changed as investors eyed a key Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up 0.1% at $66.93 a barrel, while Brent was down 0.1% at $75.87.

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