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European Central Bank rate pledge boosts stock markets

17 June 2018

As markets braced for the European Central Bank's (ECB) June policy announcement this offered some additional support to the Pound Sterling to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate.

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

'China is unwilling to have a trade war, but the Chinese side has no choice but to strongly oppose this, due to the United States' myopic behaviour that will harm both parties.

The dollar slipped against its global peers Friday and global stocks fell as the U.S. slapped new tariffs on Chinese goods, reviving the markets fears of an escalating trade war, dealers said.

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

The Euro initially weakened after the central bank said it would extend the bond purchase program, but spiked lower shortly after the start of ECB President Mario Draghi's press conference. 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 ECB sent the euro, the Australian dollar and emerging market currencies tumbling after it signalled the eurozone recovery was not almost as strong as everyone thought and that interest rates there were not expected to rise until late next year.

It remains without saying that Italy has added volatility to the eurozone and the European Central Bank prefers caution.

Putin says willing to meet Trump whenever US is ready
Putin thanked Xi for the gift saying, he values the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Putin's remarks followed a report that White House officials were working toward setting up a meeting.

Trump on Friday announced tariffs of 25 percent targeting $50 billion (43 billion euros) in Chinese imports from "industrially significant" technologies, making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property.

Mr Draghi said: "With longer term inflation expectations well anchored, the underlying strength of the Euro area economy and the continuing ample degree of monetary accommodation provide grounds to be confident that the sustained convergence of inflation towards our aim will continue in the period ahead and will be maintained even after a gradual winding down of our net asset purchases". Tokyo ended 0.5 percent higher and Sydney added more than one percent.

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

Today, the European Central Bank meets in Latvia to review monetary policy settings for the Eurozone.

Its U.S. counterpart, the Federal Reserve, has already halted bond purchases and has increased interest rates seven times since late 2015.

Oil prices fell as investors eyed a key OPEC meeting in Vienna.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were down 0.2 per cent at US$66.76 per barrel; Brent was down 0.6 per cent at US$75.49.

European Central Bank rate pledge boosts stock markets