Dollar slips, euro rises after ECB's Draghi speaks

Dollar slips, euro rises after ECB's Draghi speaks

He will present the central bank's new set of inflation forecasts and, crucially, explain why the ECB is keeping interest rates at sub-zero levels and continuing its two-year-old programme of quantitative easing (QE) in which it will be buying bonds at a pace of €60 billion (US$63 billion) a month until the end of this year.

Ifo's Clemens Fuest thinks little of the ECB's argument that inflation in the eurozone is still rather weak, if you delete volatile items such as energy and food costs from the equation.

At the time of writing, the Euro Canadian Dollar exchange rate was trading around 1.42, up 0.3%.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi just finished his closely watched press conference and while there were no headline changes, analysts are latching on to the subtle changes in the monetary outlook. In the course of the press conference, it nearly seemed as if some hawks were sitting under Draghi's desk and were fiddling with his papers.

Elections in key eurozone member states France, the Netherlands and Germany coming up this year have all clouded the outlook for the European Central Bank, with parties sceptical of the single currency lined up to make gains.

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Draghi said it's not yet clear how events like Brexit "will reverberate on the economic situation". Although the headline inflation was already at the target in February at 2.0%, the continuously slow core inflation (0.9% in February) and moderate inflation projections for the coming years support the ECB's current loose monetary policy stance. However, underlying inflation pressures continue to remain subdued. Sentiment indicators suggest that the cyclical recovery may be gaining momentum.

"Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council confirms that it will continue to make purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the current monthly pace of €80 billion until the end of this month and that, from April 2017, the net asset purchases are meant to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary", an European Central Bank statement said.

As this heat-map from Nomura's global markets research team shows, economic conditions in Europe and globally have improved in recent months. That was widely interpreted as a signal that further rate cuts are off the table. The main lending rate stands at 0% and the deposit rate at -0.40%.

"So far, so dovish from Draghi".