ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Euro pops after European Central Bank says it could revisit policy message soon

13 January 2018, 06:31 | Kelvin Horton

Americas Roundup: Euro gains after ECB minutes released, Dollar falls on weak US inflation, more jobless claims, Wall

Pound to euro exchange rate: Sterling PLUMMETS as ECB plan to change policy message

Meanwhile, advance estimates of USA retail and food services sales for December 2017 came in at 495.4 billion us dollars, an increase of 0.4 percent from the previous month, missing market consensus of 0.5 percent, the Commerce Department announced Friday.

GBP/USD - still finding support at the 1.3500 area so far this year but needs to push beyond the highs of last year at 1.3660. The British pound strengthened against the greenback on Thursday as British pound was dragged higher by stronger euro after minutes of a European Central Bank meeting showed a more aggressive tone, boosting the euro against the US dollar.

The GBP/EUR exchange rate has suffered losses of -0.6 per cent to fall to €1.122, after the minutes suggested policymakers may begin to change their forward guidance early this year.

The switch in focus to the timing of an European Central Bank rate rise also means inflation data could have a greater impact on markets than in recent years, analysts said. Data showed USA producer prices fell for the first time in almost 1-1/2 years in December amid declining costs for services. It has made session high at 1.2564 and lows at 1.2513 levels. "A significant change in policy could put considerable upside pressure on US yields, the result of which would be an effective tightening for the USA", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note. However, the producer price index (PPI) increased by 2.6% over the course of 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The currency touched its weakest level since December 29 at C$1.2590. Price action broke past the trend line, and having cleared the resistance level at 0.7160, we expect to see further gains coming.

According to the European Central Bank report, policymakers agreed that while economic data had been more positive than expected, underlying inflation "had yet to show convincing signs of a sustained upward trend".

It marked the biggest jump in retail sales since February 2013 and was an impressive change from Q3's weak retail performance.

Optimism about fourth-quarter earnings boosted stocks.

Despite the PPI report, the dollar fell 0.4% on the DXY index on Thursday. The biggest euro area economy has expanded for the eighth year in a row.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.23 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.19 per cent.

Crude oil prices are in a corrective mode today, with front-month WTI futures down 0.6% at $63.41, extending the retreat from yesterday's 37-month high at $64.75.

A robust US inflation report boosted Treasury yields.

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,322.74 an ounce by 1:37 p.m. EST (1837 GMT) after touching $1,326.56 on Wednesday, the highest since September 15.

The minutes said that the European Central Bank revised its prediction and increased its growth estimate by 0.2 points to 2.4 percent in 2017, while it maintained inflation at 1.5 percent.

The pairing opened daily trading in the region of 1.1930 and closed higher around 1.1956 in the evening.

U.S crude oil rose 50 cents to settle at $64.30 a barrel, while Brent rose 61 cents to settle at $69.87.

The program was launched three years ago and since then, the ECB's portfolio of assets has ballooned to the realm of trillions of Euros.

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