European Central Bank leaves interest rates unchanged for now

European Central Bank leaves interest rates unchanged for now

Over in the USA, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite closed in negative territory.

Manufacturing in France, Germany and the overall bloc is now projected to have done slightly worse than economists expected in January. Futures tracking the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq 100 are all now in the red, albeit marginally. "We were looking for it but we didn't get it".

The dollar fell more than half a percent against a basket of currencies on Friday as comments by senior US officials this week backing a weak dollar reverberated through currency markets.

A number of big trades in property related stocks saw Glenveagh Properties edge higher by 0.81 per cent. Hibernia Reit and Green Reit also had busy days on the stock market but fell by 1.72 and 1.27 per cent respectively. The move began after the publication of stronger-than-anticipated United Kingdom employment data for November, and was exacerbated by the dollar's weakness throughout the day.

Those expecting rate hikes at the end of this year may end up being disappointed.

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The British pound hit its post-Brexit referendum high of $1.3992, helped by optimism that Britain will reach a favourable divorce deal with the European Union.

USDJPY (109.02): The USDJPY closed at 109.20 yesterday, marking a fresh 4-month low. The catalyst for the selloff were some comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. However, the declines were limited as the Kiwi dollar was seen recovering on the back of a weaker USD. During the press conference, ECB President Draghi carried on with dovish tone, noting in particular that domestic inflationary pressures continue to be weak. However, even in that case, any dip in euro/dollar could remain relatively short-lived, considering the increasing pessimism around the dollar.

Mr Draghi suggested October's worldwide agreement between economies - including the United States - not to talk down their currencies was being broken.

Elsewhere, the NZD plunged overnight before recovering somewhat, after New Zealand's inflation surprisingly slowed in the fourth quarter.

With ECB President Mario Draghi likely to talk down the prospect of any imminent monetary tightening action the upside potential of the Euro looks distinctly limited at this juncture.

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Earlier, in a widely expected decision, the European Central Bank kept its key interest rate deep in negative territory, maintained a pledge to hold rates steady until well after bond buys conclude and promised to continue asset purchases until a sustained rebound in inflation.

The ECB will meet hold an important meeting tomorrow but no one expects any further cuts on the acquisition of bonds on the market, which should remain at 30 billion per month as it has since September. Yet, he also said the euro's strength was in part down to the region's improving outlook.

Most euro zone sectors ended in negative territory, while banks, which tend to benefit from expectations of a tighter monetary policy, rose 1.2 per cent to their highest since August 2015. Annual inflation rate was seen rising at a pace of 1.6% compared to 1.9% previously.

French 10-year bond yields also attained a 6-month high around 0.9270 percent, while 10-year borrowing costs across the euro area were 2-5 basis points higher on the day.

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Obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game [at home to Brighton and Hove Albion] - it's massive for us. The idea is to win games and be consistent and have the facility to fight for the top four", Pochettino added.

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