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European Central Bank holds; Draghi remarks eyed
19 Junio 2017, 11:37 | Dolorita Barahona
Is dollar weakness set to reverse?
The ECB said that it expects policy rates to remain "at present levels" for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases. Traders are awaiting the outcome of today's United Kingdom election, while the European Central bank made no changes to its monetary policy.
The euro zone economy grew by more than previously estimated in the first quarter and at its fastest rate in a year, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said today.
By 1155 GMT, the euro had fallen 0.6% to $1.1215 and 122.72 yen respectively.
Draghi dampened expectations of an end to the ECB's massive stimulus programme anytime soon as he highlighted the subdued outlook for Eurozone inflation.
The whole premise that the ECB is to raise rates and end its programme of money-printing relies on the assumption that the Eurozone inflation is rising in a sustainable manner towards the Bank's 2% target.
Of the decision to drop a reference to rate cuts he said: "We didn't have a vote but I didn't hear any dissenting voice by any governing council member". This small lift in growth forecasts did enough to quiet fears of further rate cuts down the road.
The bank kept interest rates in negative territory, where they have lingered since 2014, and maintained its vast quantitative easing scheme.
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The common currency was fetching.1251, having regained some footing after slipping to as low as.1204 on Wednesday, pressured by reports suggesting the European Central Bank would lower its inflation targets.
"We need to be patient", Draghi said.
"Downside risks, mainly related to global macroeconomic developments, continue to exist", Mr Draghi said.
The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook are considered to be broadly balanced, Draghi said.
While Draghi emphasized that the deteriorating inflation outlook was due to movements in price for food and oil, "it is hard for markets to contemplate tighter monetary policy next year with this forecast", said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note.
Ending the bond purchases and raising interest rates could have wide-ranging effects, such as a stronger euro and higher interest costs for heavily indebted governments. The ECB noted that underlying inflation has yet to show convincing signs of pickup. Annual real GDP is expected to increase at 1.9% in 2017, 1.8% in 2018 and 1.7% in 2019. The region's economy is now projected to grow by 1.9% this year, versus the prior estimate of 1.8%.
"We still expect an European Central Bank announcement in September that bond purchases are to be tapered off gradually as of January and. halted at the end of 2018", Commerzbank economist Joerg Kraemer said.
Therefore, a very substantial monetary easing is needed to boost inflation in the medium term.
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