Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Euro Surges on ECB Announcement

BlackRock's Koesterich Says Equities Can Go Higher BlackRock's Koesterich Says Equities Can Go Higher
Emmett Howard | 13 January, 2018, 05:03

Kashkari's motivation was to allow USA inflation rates and wage growth to push higher, but the sentiment concerned traders who are looking forward to three or possibly four interest rate hikes in 2018. Currently, inflation is running at 1.4 percent in the 19 countries that use the euro currency.

The ECB has pledged to continue its bond purchase programme at least until September and investors expect any rate increase to take place next year.

Germany's DAX 30 index declined 0.6% to end at 13,202.90, and France's CAC 40 turned lower, finishing down by 0.3% at 5,488.55.

Underlying U.S. consumer prices posted their biggest gain in 11 months in December, bolstering expectations about a pickup in domestic inflation and about Federal Reserve interest rate hikes this year.

With the euro zone seeing its best growth in a decade, the European Central Bank should gradually shift its stance to avoid a more disruptive move later and look at a broader revision of its policy guidance to reduce the focus on bond purchases and raise the emphasis on interest rates, accounts of the ECB's December meeting showed.

The euro jumped in value against the U.S. dollar after the minutes were released, gaining more than 0.8 per cent at the time of writing to hit highs of $1.2049, moving back towards three-year highs achieved at the start of the year.

Optimism about fourth-quarter earnings boosted stocks.

Trade has ranged from $1,322.85-1,329.15 so far today.

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The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index logged a record close by rising 0.2% to 7,762.94. The bank sees the euro at $1.30 by the end of the year. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 37 cents to $63.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

German bond yields hit fresh five-month highs on Friday and the euro hit a three-year high as coalition progress in Germany added to a bond sell-off first triggered by the possibility of a European Central Bank rethink on policy messaging.

The minutes came on the heels of the Bank of Japan trimming its bond-buying scheme this week, which also weighed on the greenback.

In the other precious metals, the spot silver price rose $0.12 to $17.095-17.115 per oz.

Oil prices retreated from 2014 highs hit the previous day, but stayed near three-year highs on signs of tightening supply in the United States.

Trading got under way with news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party has reached an initial deal with Martin Schulz's center-left SPD for formal coalition negotiations.

The surveys found that banks tightened their lending criteria again in the final three months of 2017, meaning the supply of unsecured credit available to households fell in each quarter a year ago.

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