Unchanged monetary policy in Europe

No significant development to extract from the ECB meeting held yesterday as its bond buying program is expected to end on the third quarter while the institution did not deliver a precise schedule for an interest rate hike. “Any adjustments to the key ECB interest rates will take place some time after the end of the Governing Council’s net purchases under the APP and will be gradual” the ECB’s Governing Council said. European equities reacted positively but the EURUSD rate dropped as low as 1.0756 intraday due to diverging monetary policy paths between the US and Europe before a rebound towards the 1.08 mark this morning.

Note that US data showed yesterday an unexpected increase in the University of Michigan consumer confidence index to 65.7 in March, up from 59.4 in February 2022 as optimism about job growth and wage expectations more than outweighed decades-high inflation. US retail sales increased 0.5% m-o-m in March, mostly due to surging gasoline and food prices.

In China, the central bank did not reduce its key interest rate yet, but it could come any time soon. The real estate sector continues to show weakening signs as home prices dropped further by 0.07% m-o-m in March which was the seventh consecutive month in negative territory.

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