European Central Bank keeps rates at historic low

10 March, 2018, 01:54 | Author: Bert Pena
  • ECB economy

In recent weeks the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi has made it clear that the devaluing USA dollar is strengthening the Euro considerably and is a concern, as he doesn't want the Euro to be overvalued which will halt rising inflation levels.

"As we pointed out before, sooner or later, the strong euro had to have some impact".

Other UK ecostats due on Friday, including construction output and NIESR's UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate for February, could also influence Sterling slightly before markets close for the week.

While no major change is expected at the March 8 meeting, nearly a third of 56 economists polled by Reuters said the central bank could drop its easing bias on asset purchases. The euro's fall paved the way for stocks to scramble higher.

The ECB bankers at their previous meeting have expressed the view that it is too early to change their position on the normalization of monetary policy, even to increase the confidence that inflation will reach its target.

'If the outlook becomes less favourable... the Governing Council stands ready to increase the asset purchase programme (APP) in terms of size and/or duration'.

Traders were waiting to see if the rate setters would remove that particular bit, as it could indicate the end of QE is moving closer.

But Bank of Ireland slipped 2.2 per cent to €7.28. while Permanent TSB, drinks group C&C and paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa were also among the fallers.

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The interest rate on the main refinancing operations, the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility remained unchanged at zero, 0.25% and -0.4% respectively.

The dollar recovered ground on Thursday, drawing relief from positive labour market data and the White House saying Canada and Mexico, and possibly other countries, may be exempted from planned USA import tariffs on steel and aluminium.

U.S. stocks fluctuated in thin trading as investors weighed the potential fallout from the release of USA president Donald Trump's tariff plan and set their sights on Friday's jobs report.

"Spreads more broadly may have some more breathing room as the actual government formation discussions in Italy do not look set to kick off for real until later this month when parliament convenes for the first time", ING strategists said in a note.

Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they expect the president to sign something by the end of the week.

Which stocks were in focus? Hugo Boss shares fell almost 7 per cent after the German fashion house struck a more cautious tone on profit, while publisher Axel Springer sank 10 per cent after results triggered profit taking. "After a material pull-back YTD, Britvic's current share price offers an attractive entry point", said analyst Richard Felton in a research note.

Draghi cautioned that the "rising protectionism" could harm growth in the eurozone.



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